UPDATE: someone has sent me this link: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1674553-2015-2016-estimated-budget.html to the Budget Book. It is still not official tho.
I attended the Budget this morning in the House of Assembly – I was interested personally and I also wanted to know if there was anything that could/would significantly impact the clients who are kind enough to employ me as their PR consultant.
I left singularly disappointed (and not just because of the payroll tax rise …..) but more so because of the lack of availability of what is the most important report on the Budget: the Budget Book.
This gives an extremely detailed breakdown, by Ministry, of estimated expenditures for the forthcoming financial year so you get to see what money is going where – and it compares to spending in the last financial year.
As a result you find out where the cuts or increases in expenditure are. It is the nitty gritty detail that really affects ‘joe public’.
Imagine my surprise then when I was told in the House that none were available. I called around to DCI and was told there were two extra copies for the press but no more. I was also told it would not be available on the Government website until the debate on individual Ministries starts – about ten days away yet – and who actually listens?
The Budget Book tells the real story and to say more were not printed to save money is ridiculous – how much would it have cost to print a dozen more? How much would it have cost to put it on the website?
The public has a right to know as well …..
PS: By the way, there are, nowadays, more than two media operators in Bermuda ……