Jamaica News: Finance and Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says government expenditure on social programmes has “more than doubled” over the last five years.
Speaking at the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) Annual Budget Review and Public Forum at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston, on March 25, Dr. Clarke pointed out that social programmes for the society’s marginalised and vulnerable remain a priority for the Administration.
He reiterated that the Government’s sustained focus on prioritising social security is further evidenced by the $20 billion budgetary allocation programmed for the 2019/20 fiscal year, which represents a 25 per cent increase over the $16 billion allocated for 2018/19.
“So, a significant percentage of our fiscal gains have gone in that direction,” the Minister noted.
Dr. Clarke further reminded forum participants that the 2019/20 allocation covers all provisions under the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) and school feeding component, which have increased by 72 per cent.
Additionally, he said social expenditure in recent years have facilitated the addition of two shelters for victims of domestic abuse, covered sanitation and poverty reduction and social and economic support for the most vulnerable communities.
In opening the 2019/20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 7, Dr. Clarke indicated that the Government will be adopting a more strategic medium to long term approach to social protection and poverty reduction across Jamaica.
He said this will include a comprehensive public expenditure review of the existing interventions to analyse targeting, graduation rates, efficiency and adequate funding for key interventions.
Source: JIS News