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Opposition leader wants protocol developed on government's overseas trips

Published:Wednesday | February 12, 2014 | 9:12 AM

Monique Grange, Assistant News Editor - Radio

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness wants the People’s National Party administration to table a report in Parliament once the Prime Minister or any Cabinet member travels.

His comment came yesterday after Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller revealed in Parliament that more than $117 million was spent for overseas ministerial trips in 2012 and 2013.

Of that amount, $15.15 million was spent on 25 overseas trips for the Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller only.

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s disclosure, the opposition leader questioned whether some protocol would be developed to deal with official overseas trips.

Holness said while it is important that prime ministers exercise their travel entitlements, they must do so with frugality.

Responding to written questions from the Opposition in parliament yesterday, the Prime Minister disclosed that she went on 10 overseas trips in 2012 and 15 in 2013.

However, she insisted that all her trips abroad yielded economic benefits for the country.

Simpson Miller highlighted that on one official visit to the People’s Republic of China in 2013 the government spent $7.2 million but brought back J$1.7 billion.


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