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Phillips to table Budget Thursday

Published:Monday | May 7, 2012 | 12:00 AM

FINANCE MINISTER Dr Peter Phillips will on Thursday table the Estimates of Expenditure for the 2012-2013 fiscal year in the House of Representatives.

The Budget is traditionally tabled by April, but Phillips said "the change of administrations, the need to review the Budget, and with the fact that we are in discussions, negotiations with the IMF (International Monetary Fund)" are factors which contributed to the delay.

Phillip Paulwell, the leader of government business in the House of Representatives, told The Gleaner yesterday that the prorogation of Parliament will take place tomorrow. He said the state opening of Parliament will take place on Thursday morning, with Governor General Patrick Allen giving the Throne Speech.

"I am confident that this would be the last time it will be called the Throne Speech," Paulwell told The Gleaner.

North East St Elizabeth Member of Parliament Raymond Pryce had moved a motion in the House calling for the Throne Speech to be renamed the People's Speech.

'Tangible development'

Two weeks ago, Pryce said that as a "tangible development" in the 50th year of Jamaica's political independence, the resolution should be immediately considered so that this amendment may be approved in time for the opening of the 2012-13 legislative year.

Pryce moved the motion against the background of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's declaration that Jamaica would be seeking to remove the Queen as head of state. He had urged that the motion be considered before the prorogation of Parliament.

The motion, however, was not taken, but has been included on a list to be carried over into the new parliamentary year.

Yesterday, Paulwell said MPs wanted more time to reflect on the motion. "We are agreed that we should change it from the Throne Speech, but the issue now is finding an appropriate name," Paulwell said.

When Pryce moved the motion in the House, some opposition members, by way of sotto voce comments, scoffed at the proposed name, saying the term 'People's Speech' is an extension of 'People Power', the slogan used by the governing People's National Party in its most recent general election campaign.