Committee of Supply (CoS)

Sounds like some highly exclusive committee or some sort of Gentlemen's Club? It's actually the opposite.

If you're a Member of Parliament (MP), you will automatically be included as a member of the Committee of Supply (CoS). No fear of missing out after all.

The CoS convenes just once a year — after the annual Budget statement by the Minister for Finance. Its agenda? To look at each ministry’s request for funds and debate whether it is justified.

MPs will fire questions at the various ministries, raising feedback or suggestions on the programmes mentioned in the Budget Statement. It is the perfect opportunity to air any disagreements they may have, hence the popular term “Grievance Debates”.

To keep the debate orderly and civilized, there is a specific way to go about it:

Firstly, an MP must propose a "cut", usually a nominal $100 to each Ministry's estimated budget. This action gives the MP a "peg" to query the details of the Ministry's initiatives and it's projected expenditures in the Budget. They will do so through rigorous speech exchanges in the Parliament, which lasts around seven days. When the Minister has satisfactorily addressed the "peg", the MP may withdraw his “cut”.

Previous CoS debates show that the MPs don’t hold back on their grievances. In 2018, 530 cuts were filed. In total, the whole CoS debate lasted 3,120 minutes or around 52 hours.

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