Eighth District Representative Marlon Penn has questioned the government’s need to push through a $14 million Schedule of Additional Provisions (SAP) through the House of Assembly (HOA) without consulting with the Opposition.
Penn recently accused Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley and his government of moving legislation through the House hastily — including the recent Trade Commission Suspension Act and the Jury Act — without consultation and said this was one of the reasons that the opposition staged a walkout from the HOA.
“[The SAP] included $14 million in additional spending that none of us saw prior to him (the Premier) making those decisions. Enough is enough,” Penn said recently.
According to Penn, successive administrations have attempted to ‘bulldoze’ legislation through the House and treat the opposition with this type of poor behaviour.
Meanwhile, Penn accused the Premier and his government of going on a world tour and questioned the need for Premier Wheatley to request $100,000 for travel expenses with just two months left in the year.
“The issue of the Trade Commission suspension has implications. The issue of the Jury Act has implications. The issue of a 14 million dollar provisional spending without no consultation, without no discussion, brought to the House in the cloak of darkness, with $100,000 in that for the Premier for travel, two months left in the year… You going around the world on a world tour?”
The government has come in for much flak in recent months for the amount of travel being done, but Premier Wheatley rubbished those concerns recently and said it was a convenient opposition narrative.
Dr Wheatley also argued that the government must travel if it wants to have the territory’s interests represented adequately.
“You go to international meetings where you’re fighting for your interest and your place in the world and inevitably, you have to pay for aeroplanes and you have to pay for hotels,” the Premier argued.
He added: “The further you travel, the more expensive it gets. So, sometimes I don’t think it serves our interests well to create a narrative. You know that there are other better things to do than travel.”
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