February 24, 2024
Skelton criticizes Premier for quitting during budget process


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In All News / By: BVI News December 1, 2023 at 7:51 am /

Ronnie SkeltonRonnie Skelton

Opposition Leader Ronnie Skelton has questioned Premier Dr. Natalia Wheatley over his decision to leave the region to attend a climate change summit during the current budget process.

Premier Wheatley is currently attending the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which concludes on December 6.

However, members of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) of the House of Assembly (HOA) are currently involved in budget deliberations with senior government servants.

Skelton suggested that the SFC budget process is now redundant because it requires the presence of the Premier, who is also the Finance Minister, for important questions about spending in the region.

“Presenting the budget in Parliament and not coming here to answer some difficult questions from members. It said the process was a wasteful process because there were certain needs that required various government departments, various ministries, various statutory collaborations to function – to make the country better – which could not happen until then. Unless he’s here,” Skelton said.

Skelton further argued that there is crime, policing, infrastructure, roads and water and other issues that need to be fixed, and without the Finance Minister allocating money, this will be a problem.

The opposition leader said that the acting Prime Minister, Kay Rhymer, who is currently standing in for Prime Minister Wheatley, is doing her best to assist in moving the budget process forward, however, she indicated that the Prime Minister’s absence would not be helpful. Was.

“Now you have the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister away from the country and I understand that the Health Minister is leaving tomorrow (today), therefore, another junior minister should be appointed to act as the minister In this country. It’s not the right thing to do,” Skelton argued.

Skelton rejected critics’ arguments that previous Prime Ministers had done the same thing and said it had never happened during the sixteen years he served in the House of Assembly.

“You know, we’re treating these processes in a very simple way,” Skelton said. “But these are key, key organs of the country that help the society grow with some level of organization and the finance minister is absent from the process, that is wrong.”

Skelton further said that it is his opposition members who are preventing the SFC from meeting its quorum. Quorum is the minimum number of members of the Legislative Assembly who must be present at any meeting of the Legislative Assembly to make the proceedings of that meeting valid.

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