Haughton: I didn’t mean to step on Phillips’ toes
Less than a week after Opposition Spokesman on Planning and Development Dr André Haughton shredded his party leader’s proposal to cut general consumption tax (GCT) by two percentage points, the university lecturer, in a statement issued by the People’s National Party yesterday, indicated that he crossed the line when he trespassed on the portfolio responsibilities of Dr Peter Phillips and Mark Golding.
Golding is the opposition spokesman on finance and the public service.
“Truthfully, my comments on the GCT reform have encroached on the party leadership and the shadow minister of finance, and no disrespect was meant by it. As a new member of the shadow Cabinet, I was unaware of previous discussions and decisions on tax policy, which falls in the portfolio of the leader of the Opposition and the shadow minister of finance,” a seemingly remorseful Haughton said yesterday.
“I will, in the future, on matters like this, avail myself to discuss it internally lest I be misunderstood,” he added.
In his contribution to the State of the Nation in the Upper House last Friday, Haughton said that Phillips’ proposal to reduce GCT by two percentage points was unworkable and would have a negative cumulative effect across the board.
“As the shadow minister with responsibility for planning and development, it was not my intention to speak in contrary to the party’s position.”
The opposition senator argued that his utterances highlighted the differences between his academic orientation and his political inclination.
“Once again, no harm was intended and neither was I challenging the position of my party,” he said.