‘Under-budgeting results in salaries blowout’


FINANCE and Rural Development Minister Charles Abel says under-budgeting for public service payroll is one of the issues identified that results in salaries blowout.
Abel told The National that there may have commitments made but haven’t been fully budgeted for which makes it look like a wage bill blowout – when not adequately catered for in the budget.
He said these were issues which the three departments, Finance and Rural Development, Treasury and Public Service, had been discussing.
“I’m putting my focus in this area now that I’m the Finance Minister.
“We want an understanding of how the current system works and step in to take control of the increase in wages.
“There are some things that cannot be stopped, the awards that have already been agreed to and there’s ongoing recruitment exercise, especially police, nurses and teachers, but these things are meant to be budgeted for.”
Abel was concerned about other potential abuses and the ability of people to add workers onto the Government payroll without proper control or things like uncontrolled allocation of allowances, domestic market allowances and other allowances.
“I will be looking carefully into all these areas and we want to as much as possible stick to budget.
“The final process is going through with the State solicitor to engage the consultant who will be doing the full audit of the payroll. It’s with the state solicitor at the moment to clear the process so that we can engage the relevant consultant.”