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Snippet Contents:

I welcome this opportunity to contribute to the debate on budget 2017. There is no doubt that the budget was a test for the minority Government. It was a hurdle that had to be overcome but many in the media and the public generally thought that the Government would fall at this particular hurdle. I very much welcome the fact that we have come through this budget intact. It was an important point in terms of ensuring the stability of our Parliament, making sure that our country continues to be run properly and efficiently and that Parliament continues in situ. It also marks an important turning point in terms of how we conduct the budgetary process.
We will look back on this particular budget in years to come as a point in history when we really changed how we did our business and when things were done very differently in terms of how we put our budgets together. It is a huge privilege to have played a role in that, to have been here for that budget process and to see it completed. It will be fully completed in the next few weeks. In terms of the budget process in question, I sat on the new Committee on Budgetary Oversight, the first of its kind in this country. That committee allowed for cross-party influence and participation in the budget process, which is not the norm and which had never been done before. The idea behind that was to take away the big-bang effect of budget day and to ensure that there would be no surprises.