Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Government pays out $426.4 million for judgment debts

Published:Thursday | May 25, 2017 | 5:00 AM
Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte

Some $426.4 million was paid by the Government towards judgment debts for the 2016-17 financial year, noted Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte.

Making her contribution to the 2017-18 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives last week, Malahoo Forte said for the financial year 2016-2017, the Government had originally allocated a budget of $342.2 million towards the payment of judgment debts, but by the end of the financial year, the amount of $423.

604 million was received for this expenditure.

In July 2016, the attorney general had indicated that by the end of July 2016 the Chambers and the Ministry of Justice expected that the Government would have completed all payments due for the year 2014.

"Although the progress seems slow, my information was that as at the end of April 2017, the ministry expected to commence making payments due, with effect from June 2015. It must be recalled that every week additional judgments and settlements are added to the obligations of the Government," she noted.

Malahoo Forte said she will continue to press for additional funds so that "we can pay the judgment debts and settlements more quickly".

She expressed appreciation to the minister of justice for his support as they continue the dialogue with the Ministry of Finance for increased allocations.

"I am very sympathetic to the plight of successful litigants who have to wait for extended periods before getting paid," she said.