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THE new administration will be slashing expenditure for the 2011/12 fiscal year, which will be reflected in a supplementary budget, expected to be tabled in Parliament soon.

Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips, speaking Wednesday at a forum organised by Mayberry Investment at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, said the supplementary budget will have to include a downward revision in public expenditure [because] "we cannot live above our means any longer". The Government, he added, is in pursuit of maintaining stability and achieving growth.

According to the minister, the adjustments will be made in such a way as to "protect the most vulnerable in the society".

Said the finance minister: "In the present circumstances, given the 'failings' of the previous administration, maintenance of fiscal stability will involve expenditure cuts in the short term.

"There will have to be expenditure cuts to compensate for declining revenues. We are determined not to squander the present opportunity to put things right once and for all."

Dr Phillips pointed out, however, that cuts in expenditure were not a "sustainable medium-to-long-term measure" to finance the operations of the Government.

"We will be required to identify opportunities to generate increased revenues, which must be in the context of the promotion and inducement of growth in the Jamaican economy," he said.

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