Premier Issues Statement
This afternoon I’m pleased to announce that the Minister for Overseas Territories the Hon. Henry Bellingham has agreed with our position for the budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
This approval has validated what our Government has been saying all week. That is, that we have presented a creditable and sustainable budget to the Legislative Assembly knowing full well that we had met the requirements set out by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
This is why we were confident that we could proceed with the legislative phase of implementing this budget.
I and my Government have been criticized for bringing the budget to the House before receiving formal notification from Minister Bellingham. But we knew from our communications with the FCO that we had met the requirements.
If we had followed the thinking of the Opposition and Independent Members of the House and other critics to wait for formal notification where would we be today? We would have had to scramble next week to meet the deadline for the passage of the Appropriations Bill. The course that we have taken in making significant progress in the legislative phase of this budget process was the correct decision.
The conditions that are already being reported in the media are not new. We were already aware of those conditions when we brought the bill and had agreed to them. Those conditions are that the Frame Work for Fiscal Responsibility is passed into law; no supplementary appropriations except to fund recovery from a natural disaster; that we will assist the UK’s economic advisor in periodic budgetary reviews and that a budget board will be set up to assist in longer fiscal plans.
I would like to thank all those Civil Servants who worked so very hard to achieve this budget.