Parliament to resume, budget expected

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PARLIAMENT resumes today and sits for the next three weeks with the 2018 Budget expected to be tabled next Tuesday.
Acting Deputy Clerk to Parliament Basil Kambuliagen, pictured, said the session starting at 2pm would see notices on bills tabled.
After the tabling of the budget next Tuesday, Parliament will adjourn to allow the Opposition time to respond.
He said Parliament would then reconvene to pass the budget. It will then adjourn to next year.
Parliament last sat in September to pass a supplementary budget which, among other things, was to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio to around the 30 per cent level.
The fall in Government revenue forced the State to reduce costs so as to maintain the 2.5 per cent deficit forecast in the 2017 national budget, and reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio to the 30 per cent level.
But Shadow Finance and Treasury Minister Ian Ling-Stuckey said the supplementary budget had failed to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio back to the 30 per cent level.
Ling-Stuckey said “under still very optimistic assumptions” it was only reduced to 32.1 per cent, which meant missing the debt target “by a massive K1.6 billion”.