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Budget to be tabled on 29 October

Friday October 24, 2014 Written by Published in Politics
Finance Minister Mark Brown will be announcing the 2014-15 budget in parliament next week.  Finance Minister Mark Brown will be announcing the 2014-15 budget in parliament next week.

After months of delay due to July’s snap elections, a budget with details on government spending for the remainder of the financial year is set to be tabled in Parliament next week.

Finance Minister Mark Brown has confirmed that Parliament is set to sit next Tuesday, with an appropriation bill for the 2014-15 financial year to be tabled the following day.
Following the presentation of the budget and an expected budget speech, Brown said he is expecting ample debate in the House over the government’s plans for spending in three key areas; education, health, and infrastructure.
“It’s a pretty straight forward budget, there’s nothing contentious in it,” he said.
As indicated in previous announcements, the Government is looking to increase spending in the three key areas, along with boosts in tourism marketing to compliment the soon to be in service Boeing 777’s – which will expand capacity for the Sydney and Los Angeles connections.
The overall boost in spending will be met with projected increases in revenue, he said.
Government is forecasting a small surplus in the operating budget - which outlines spending through the collection of taxes.
Brown said he is expecting Parliament to sit for a full two weeks, potentially giving the  opposition the opportunity to debate the appropriation bill, should Government choose not to push the legislation through the House.
“There’s not only the budget but a couple of other bills that need to be addressed,” he said.
Tax, offshore finance, and social welfare legislation is also expected to be introduced during the sitting, the Minister said.
“It should be a busy agenda for us over the two weeks,” he said.
With a slim one-seat majority, Prime Minister Henry Puna will require the support of all 12 Cook Islands Party MP’s to pass legislation during the sitting.   

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