It’s a $580-billion budget!

Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, tabled the 2016-2017 Estimates of Expenditure in Parliament today.

The Estimates show that this year’s budget is 9.67-percent lower than the one tabled last year by the previous PNP administration.

It’s approximately 28-percent lower than the supplementary budget tabled earlier this year by the former PNP administration.

The Holness Administration says it plans to spend $580-billion in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

This is approximately 10-percent less than the $642-billion budget tabled in February last year by the Simpson Miller administration.

Total recurrent expenditure, which covers housekeeping expenses such as salaries and interest on government debt, is projected to be about $459-billion. This is 79-percent of the total budget.

The total Capital Budget, which covers spending on infrastructure, is projected to be approximately $121-billion.

This represents a reduction of $8-billion when compared to the $209-billion budgeted for capital expenditure in the estimates tabled by the PNP administration in February last year.

As usual, the lion’s share of the budget is allocated to the Ministry of Finance and Planning and its related departments. They are getting just over $290-billion. This is almost $91-billion less than was allocated to this ministry last year.

Just over $200-billion of the Finance Ministry’s allocation has been set aside to cover recurrent expenses.

The new Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation has been allocated just under $20-billion.

Eight-billion is earmarked to cover recurrent expenses and over $11-billion to cover capital spending.

The Education Ministry receives a $93-billion allocation, while the Ministry of National Security gets $59-billion.

The Health Ministry receives an allocation of $54-billion.

The 2016/17 Budget Debate will begin on May 12, with the presentation of Finance Minister, Audley Shaw.

On May 17, Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Dr. Peter Phillips will make his contribution.

The debate continues on May 19, with the presentation of the Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson Miller.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness makes his presentation on May 24, before the Finance minister closes the debate on May 25.