King to deliver Budget address!

Parliament was officially closed last Thursday on proclamation from the Governor General and will re-open on Thursday April 14 with the usual Parade of the Guards and the Governor General’s Throne Speech.

There will be a joint session of both Houses of Parliament, the Upper and Lower House.  It is at the session the Throne Speech will be delivered.  The Sitting is expected to commence at 10am.

Following the Throne Speech, a Formal House of Assembly Meeting is scheduled for 4:30pm on that same day, with Papers to be laid and Bills to be presented by the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, International Financial Services, Economic Affairs, Economic Planning and National Development as well as the Honourable Minister for Physical Planning, Housing, Urban Renewal, Local Government and the Environment.  Likewise the Honourable Minister for Communications, Works, Transport and Public Utilities has papers to be laid. Also laying papers is the Honourable Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Investment.  A report of the Meeting of the Standing Finance Committee will also be presented.

The Bills down for consideration includes: Appropriation 2010/2011, Civil Code (Amendment), Crown Proceedings (Amendment), Insurance, Architect (Registration) (Amendment) and Apostille (Hague Convention) (Amendment).

The Budget Debate will take place on Monday, April 18, Tuesday, April 19, and Wednesday, April 20, 2011.  The debate is expected to commence at 10:00 am on each day.

Statement from Government Press Secretary:

“The Government is pleased to announce that the 2011/2012 Budget Address will be
delivered by the Honourable Stephenson King Prime Minister and Minister for Finance,
Economic Affairs and National Development, on Thursday April 14th 2011.

“This Address will be presented against a backdrop of a very challenging fiscal year
2010/2011.  While the global economy is recovering from the worst financial and
economic crisis, many countries are struggling to deal with increases in debt and
financial instability.

“Here in Saint Lucia, the global realities were further compounded by a drought in the
first quarter of 2010, followed by a devastating hurricane causing damage and losses
amounting to 34% of the country’s GDP. Notwithstanding these difficulties, sound
economic management, timely and targeted interventions and prudent fiscal measures
by the Government have bolstered our economy leading to positive growth.

“The Government has had to exert tremendous effort and resources to respond to the
rising scourge of crime. Government is cognizant of the impact of crime on society and
has accorded combating crime the highest priority. This year’s budget, therefore,
reflects the commitment of Government to implementing a comprehensive
multipronged programme of crime prevention.

“A country’s quest for sustainable economic growth must be viewed within a context of
environmental, social, human and resource considerations.  As such the budget, will be
a reflection of Government’s understanding and commitment to the holistic
development of its people.

“The 2011/2012 Budget represents an increase on last year’s budget given the
imperative of ensuring a secure and safe society and the post Hurricane Tomas
recovery and reconstruction commitments.”

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