Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Paulwell chides Government over treatment of Constituency Debate

Published:Wednesday | October 11, 2017 | 10:40 AM

Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representative Phillip Paulwell has expressed disappointment with the way the Constituency Debate has unfolded this parliamentary year.

Making his contribution to the debate yesterday, Paulwell, the Member of Parliament (MP) for East Kingston and Port Royal, charged that the debate appears to be an afterthought in the scheme of things.

“Our main purpose here is to represent the views and interest of our constituents, this debate is the ideal platform for that and we should all take up this opportunity and participate,” said Paulwell as he noted that the Constituency Debate started in 2015.

 “The standing order provides that the debate should commence in September and up to end of October for six weeks. We are just starting in October,” complained Paulwell.

He noted that in the Constituency Debate all MPs are given 15 minutes to speak with the Speaker of the House also allowed to contribute.

“The timing of the debate was to enable the people’s representatives to influence the Budget. That’s why it was slated for this time before the first Budget call. The Ministry of Finance was to be present during the debate to hear what MP’s are requesting and a full report to be done by the Parliament for which an adequate response should come from the Government.

“This was a part of the reforms introduced in 2015 to make Parliament more meaningful and interesting,” argued Paulwell.