FINANCE MINISTER Dr Peter Phillips has said the Government will not be forced to recast the Budget as a result of Hurricane Sandy inflicting major damage to the country's economic prediction.
"We do have a provision in this year's Budget for contingencies, including disaster contingency," Phillips said, responding to questions in the House of Representatives posed by Opposition Member of Parliament Karl Samuda on Tuesday.
Based on preliminary estimates provided by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Hurricane Sandy has incurred more than $4.3 billion in damage.
contingencies not enough
Phillips said the set of circumstances associated with Hurricane Sandy "is certain to be greater than the contingencies that we made".
He, however, said: "What we have done is to look at the available resources and we have had to re-deploy resources." Simpson Miller has also said agencies of government have been called upon to assist in undertaking areas of relief activities.
Meanwhile, Phillips said as far as the general economic programme is concerned, "We need to stay the course.
"It will mean hardship as far as the budgetary allocation for some particular heads are concerned," Phillips said.
The finance minister said there is nothing to suggest that meeting expenditure obligations will constrain the country's ability to grow "or is going to derail the programme of economic transformation and reform".