After more than three hours in a closed-door committee session on Thursday, the House of Assembly passed a motion approving $19.4 million in supplemental spending for the 2013 budget.

There was no debate before the committee stage, but afterward opposition member Andrew Fahie rose to say that he hopes in the future such spending measures would come to the House sooner.

“Starting from this year I would hope that we would amend financial regulations so that once the budget has been passed, that we put a timeframe on when the supplementaries come to this House,” Mr. Fahie said.

He suggested that between six and eight months would be a reasonable timeframe.

Premier Dr. Orlando Smith also spoke after the committee stage, telling the House that any budget is an estimate of what will be spent for a given year.

“It was money that was necessary to be spent,” Dr. Smith said of the $19.4 million. “There are always times when it is necessary to do things that are not planned.”

However, he said he too would like to see supplementary spending come to the House sooner.

“I would like to say that I would ensure that these come to the House as soon as possible, and that should be within the year,” he said.

Having finished all the business of the day, the sitting finished shortly after the vote. There were no questions from the opposition.

Earlier in the day, Health and Social Development Minister Ronnie Skelton laid on the table two sets of hospital regulations. Premier Dr. Orlando Smith introduced amendments to the Employee Mobility Act and the Insurance Act, saying that details on the proposed legislation would be given when the bills get their second reading in the House.

See the Sept. 10, 2015 edition for full coverage.