The Cabinet agreed to an increase in federal government spending of more than a fifth to Dh42.2 billion next year.
Cabinet increases spending
The Cabinet agreed to an increase in federal government spending today of more than a fifth to Dh42.2 billion (US$11.5bn) next year. The "service sector" would receive 37 per cent of the budget for 2009, reflecting the "great priority" given in particular to health services, a Government budget statement released through the state news agency, WAM, said. The education budget has remained constant at Dh9.7bn, but as a proportion of Government spending the sector's share has fallen from 28 per cent to 23 per cent. Individual emirates allocate their own funding for education in addition to the spending from the federal Government. The budget was read out at a Cabinet meeting attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister. This year's budget represents a 21 per cent increase on last year's figure of Dh34.9bn. The budget report stated that the income generated by ministries for services provided has increased from Dh7 million in 1999 to a projected Dh24m in 2009. At the Cabinet meeting, Sheikh Mohammed urged ministers to improve the performance of their ministries and to "follow up issues in the field" rather than just work at their desks.