Author: MNI Alive Media | Date: 19 May 2017
The delivery of the Budget Speech for Montserrat has been set for June 9, 2017 at 2:00PM, when Premier of Montserrat and Minister of Finance, Hon Donaldson Romeo, will deliver the Budget for the financial year 2017/18 for the island.
This is welcomed news, after what has been nearly two full months of delay with the new budget for Montserrat. Citizens will be eagerly awaiting what Premier Romeo has to say in this new Appropriation Bill to be delivered soon.
The full details of the upcoming budget speech were today shared with the media by the Honourable Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Shirley Osborne.
See Speaker Osborne's remarks below:
The Speaker of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly is pleased to inform the people of Montserrat that the Minister of Finance, the Hon. Donaldson Romeo, will present his 2017-2018 Budget Appropriation Bill on Friday, June 9th at 2:00 p.m. in the Sir George Martin Auditorium at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.
As prescribed by the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly of Montserrat, the Premier will, on that day, move motions for the 1st and 2nd Readings of the Bill and upon moving for the 2nd reading, will proceed to present the Budget Speech.
Once he has completed that presentation, another Member will second the motion for the 2nd Reading and the Premier and Minister of Finance will move that the Legislative Assembly be adjourned to a date he names, for the commencement of the Budget Debate. Upon consulting with the Hon. Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Easton Taylor-Farrell, the Premier has informed the Speaker that he will select either of Tuesday, June 13th or Wednesday June 14th for the Debate to begin.
It is best practice and good governance that the Government consult with the Opposition wherever possible, and although perhaps not particularly momentous in itself, this is an instance in which a spirit of collaboration clearly serves all parties, and Montserrat as a whole.
The Parliamentary procedures for the presentation of the Annual Budget Appropriation Bill are extraordinary in that our Standing Orders expressly prescribe that there be a period between the presentation of the Bill and the commencement of debate on the bill, to allow other members of the Legislative Assembly the time they need to examine the Bill in detail and prepare their most appropriate and productive responses.
When the House next reconvenes to debate the Bill, the process reverts to normal, to wit, all Members of the House who wish to, may speak on the Bill, after which the Member who brought the Bill will speak again to wrap up and the House moves immediately into Committee of Supply to debate the Bill in detail. Upon agreement having been arrived at in Committee, the House reconvenes and votes to pass the Bill, or not.
The Standing Orders of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly 66(3) provides that:
(3) When the Minister of Finance has made the Budget Speech, the motion for the 2nd Reading of the Bill shall be seconded and the debate thereon shall be adjourned to a time to be named by the Minister of Finance.
The debate on the 2nd Reading of the Bill shall be confined to the financial and economic state of Montserrat and the general principled of the Government policy and administration as indicated in the Bill and estimates.
(4) On the conclusion of the debate, the Appropriation Bill and the estimates shall stand referred to a Committee of the whole Council to be known as the Committee of Supply. The deliberations of the Committee of Supply shall be in public.
The Speaker once again, takes the opportunity to reiterate her standing invitation to the people of Montserrat to attend sittings of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly and experience the business of their government in person.
The Annual Budget speech and debate are important matters in which she very strongly urges Montserratians to participate and engage with their parliamentarians about.
Speaker Osborne further invites residents and citizens of all ages and persuasions to feel free to contact her Office with any related concerns, ideas or suggestions and reminds everyone that the increased engagement and participation of the citizens is critical to the processes of governing of Montserrat, to democracy and transparency, and for the right development of our island and peoples.
The Speaker looks forward to a full house at the Budget Speech on Friday, June 9th, at 2:00 p.m. and at the ensuing debate.