Government has set aside over $5 million in this year’s financial estimates for its yearlong celebration of the island’s 50th anniversary of political independence, which culminates on November 30.
This is in addition to the $1.27 million set aside for the celebrations in the last fiscal year.
The spending details are contained in the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for 2016/2017, which were laid in Parliament yesterday by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler.
Barbados TODAY has been carefully reviewing the over 400-page document ahead of next week’s parliamentary debate.
Under the Prime Minister’s Office, a total of $5,111,542 has been allocated for the coming financial year, which begins in April, to cover the expenses of the National Independence Secretariat, which is in charge of the yearlong activities.
A further $750,000 has been assigned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to cover the operating expenses of the overseas missions for the
This has nothing to do with $4.3 million for “at home” operational expenses, which is more than three times the amount allocated in fiscal year 2015-2016.
Based on increased activities, the Secretariat is also to have a $45,000 travel budget this year, up from $8,000 in the last financial year and a $70,620 utilities spend, up from $54,150.
Government has also set aside $27,000 for property maintenance, up from $6,000.
And to cover payment of professional services the sum of $170,000 has been set aside, as well as $7,658 for employer’s contributions and $78,884 for other personal salaries.
However, it appears as though the Secretariat will be paying less for rental this fiscal year than in the last. The amount included in the Estimates is $43,823, down from the $109,280 for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Also down is the amount to be spent on books and publications. That figure has dropped from $3,000 to $1,533.
The island will officially celebrate its 50th anniversary on November 30.
Release of the Estimates followed concerns expressed at the start of the year about how much Government would be spending on the 50th celebrations.