Local legislator Andrew Fahie is claiming to have spent more than $9,000 of his personal funds to carry out duties as opposition leader.
He said he spent those funds last year before government agreed to reserve allocations in the annual budget for Her Majesty’s Opposition.
“Everything for the Leader of the Opposition was paid for out of my pocket. I thought that this was not right. I stated to them (government) that in order to have true democracy, there should be a budget for the Leader of Opposition to perform their duties.”
The government subsequently awarded $30,000 to Her Majesty’s Opposition. These funds fall under budget appropriations for the House of Assembly, BVI News understands.
Fahie used a quantity of those allocated funds on Wednesday to host the first of series of Leader of Opposition press conferences.
Now seven months into the calendar year, Fahie said fewer than half of the allocated $30,000 sum has been used, so far.
“The little $30,00 that I have; I’m trying to make it stretch,” he said.
Fahie, in the meantime, said Her Majesty’s Opposition should always be granted a portion of the annual budget, regardless of the governing party.
He said that is an opinion he has held even before becoming part of the parliamentary opposition.
“When this [NDP] government was in the Opposition, I had lobbied, at that time, for money for the Opposition to do their work because I was always convinced even in the government that you should always have a balance when it comes to running a country to ensure democracy reigns.”
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