Politicians burn the midnight oil debating Budget

Thursday June 06, 2019 Written by Published in National

MPs sat until 10pm last night to debate the Appropriation Bill – the first time they’ve sat so late for years.

 

Parliament began its work at 9am, making for a long day for the politicians.

The Budget for the upcoming financial year was in its second reading last night, and is expected to be passed by the Parliament this week.

Extended sitting hours are the norm during the Budget debate, but rarely so late as 10pm.

The late sitting appears to be by consensus: replying to questions, Opposition Democratic Party leader Tina Browne said this was not a government attempt to complete the Parliamentary session in a week.

Last week, deputy prime minister Mark Brown said they expected the Parliament to sit for at least two weeks.

“We got some significant bills that we would like to get through,” he said. “The Budget is one of them and we would like to be able to provide sufficient time for people to comment on the Budget in the House.

“We’ve also got the Seabed Minerals Bill which will be tabled in the House along with the Infrastructure Bill which underwent consultation,” he added. “So it’s going to be a busy agenda for Parliament.”

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