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No-show for Opposition members for 2016 Budget

No-show for Opposition members for 2016 Budget


Even with the threat of legislation being introduced that will fine members of Parliament for repeated non-attendance (without good reason), the Leader of the Opposition has declared that members of the New Democratic Party (NDP) will continue to boycott Parliament.

Speaking on ‘The New Times’ radio programme (Nice FM) yesterday, February 22, Opposition Leader and president of the NDP Arnhim Eustace {{more}}said that he and other Opposition parliamentary members would not attend Parliament that day for the Governor General’s Throne Speech and the Government’s presentation of the 2016 Budget.

“The New Democratic Party will not be in the Parliament today to participate in any Budget debate. We stand by our view, despite the threats of legislation to punish us for not being in Parliament… that we regard this Government as illegitimate,” emphasized Eustace.

“The election was won by fraudulent means and corruption, and we do not recognize the results. I know there are many persons who may have an alternative view, but they are entitled to their view.”

He further said that in a couple days, the Opposition will be presenting an alternative Budget to the one presented by the Government, which will address several areas that it finds fault with.

“You already have a kind of foretaste of what kind of Budget you are going to have from looking at the Estimates that were passed some days ago. We expressed our concerns about that, and we will be doing so in relation to the Budget itself.”

Eustace added: “We will host events outside of the Parliament to present our alternatives in relation to the Budget, because what we see in the Estimates doesn’t give much hope for growth and increased employment in St Vincent and the Grenadines… I will venture to say it can cause some further decline.”

Adamant that he and the other Opposition members are taking the matter “very seriously”, he further opined: “There is no hope coming out of the estimates… We cannot continue on this basis.” (JSV)