PM Douglas reiterates the motion of confidence will be debated, but the 2013 Budget gets priority

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas at Wednesday’s Press Conference in the Parliamentary Lounge, Government Headquarters in Basseterre. (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 6TH 2013 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has again given the assurance that a motion of no confidence will be debated in the National Assembly, but priority has to be given to the 2013 Budget.

“The motion will be debated in our Parliament. I believe that the Government will treat this motion in Parliament as a very important opportunity to respond to a number of the preamble charges that have been outline in the motion itself,” he told a news conference which was carried live on several radio stations.

Dr. Douglas told the reporters and the nation that the Budget is also government business and of the highest priority.

“One of the things for example that we will not do or I would hate to see done, is to deprive our citizens and our own public servants who have served the interest of our Government in the past; I would hate to see them deprived of their support system (monthly salary) without the passage of a budget. That would allow that to take place,” the Prime Minister said.

He said he and the Cabinet has been very consistent in saying that the Budget should come before the motion of no confidence is heard.

“I am informed by my Financial Secretary just yesterday (Tuesday) that we are almost at the point of bringing this budget and having the budget readied to be brought to the Parliament and as soon as that is going to be ready. Within a week or so, I should be able to announce as is usual, when the Budget will be presented,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who is also Minister of Finance.Responding to questions he disclosed that the Budget Presentation has had to be re-written as a number of activities that had identified in the Budget, first scheduled to be presented in December 2012, are already being rolled out.

“I can’t be reading a Budget that says this will be done when in fact it is already being done. So it has to be re-written. The language has to be changed and that is being done as I speak to you. And so as I said yesterday the Financial Secretary informed me that we are almost there and as soon as it is completed the budget will be presented to our Parliament,” said Dr. Douglas. He emphasised that the Government must have authority to spend money that is being collected and there must be the authority to indicate how it is going to be spent.

“I am not certain what would be the outcome of a motion of no confidence, but I would hate to take the country into a situation (general election) where money is going to be required for that situation and the Parliament has not properly met to give authority for the spending of such monies. And so no major activity, I think for this fiscal year, should be undertaken unless the appropriate authority received,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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