Longer parliament on cards

Monday June 19, 2017 Written by Published in Politics

The government expects more days of parliament sitting when the opening session of the year starts after lunch on Monday.

 

Parliament sessions in the past barely lasted two weeks and the Opposition has always complained about the number of days they were presented with to debate effectively on the key issues including the Budget.

But Finance minister Mark Brown said he expects this year’s sitting to be longer than the previous ones.

He will be tabling the 2017/18 Budget Appropriation on Friday.

“I expect that we will have a longer session of Parliament than we have had in the past. I am quite happy to take the debate on the Budget for its full 10 days,” Brown said.

The first order of business on Monday will be the swearing in of Members of Parliament Pumati Israela for the Are Nikau seat and Albert Nicholas for the RAPPA seat.

One Cook Islands’ Israela won the by-election after Teina Bishop had to relinquish his seat following his conviction in the corruption-related charges.

Nicholas, who initially won the RAPPA seat under the Democratic Party banner before joining the government, reclaimed the seat under the Cook Islands Party banner in the by-elections last month.

Brown said the government was very confident with their majority adding they were also assertive about getting through their agenda without any difficulty.

“We have a number of bills to table and I expect the first bills to be Income Tax amendment bill and the VAT amendment bill, both these bills allow for the tax amnesty to be implemented starting from August,” Brown said.

“There are also a number of finance bills and also financial reporting bills associated with international compliance standards for reporting and the sharing of information. 

“We also have the Marae Moana bill and the long awaited Family Law bill as well as the Crimes bill, which deals with more modern definitions of what constitutes and defines a criminal offence as opposed to a civil offence.”

When queried about what sort of energy they expect from the Opposition in this upcoming parliament sitting, Brown said: “The government is concentrating on going about its business in the House.

“It doesn’t really matter who the Demos elect as leader of the opposition. They will still be an ineffective and bumbling opposition.

“I’m looking forward to the start of parliament and to the announcement of new government initiatives to be announced in the Budget.”    


Ministerial Statement by Minister Mark Brown, Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 2) Order 2016, Serial No. 2016/10, Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 3) Order 2016, Serial No. 2016/11, The Annual Report by the Ministry of Education period 1st July 2015 – 30th June 2016, The Annual Report by the Public Service of Excellence for the year ended 30 June 2016, Income Tax (Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information) Regulations 2016, Serial No. 2016/12, PERC Report on the Review of Penrhyn Island Administration overspending of budget 2015-16, PERC Report on the Review of Procurement Procedures in respect of Avatiu Powerhouse upgrade, Marine Resources (Large Pelagic Longline Fishery and Quota Management System) Regulations 2016, Serial No. 2016/13, Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities (Green Climate Fund) Order 2016, Serial No. 2016/14, Marine Resources (Aitutaki and Manuae Bonefish Fishery) Amendment Regulations 2016, Serial No. 2016/15, Cook Islands National Superannuation Board (Remuneration) Order 2017, Serial No. 2017/01, Public Account Committee Evidence Session Report on the Theft as a Servant & Review of Violent Incident in October 2016, Public Account Committee Evidence Session Report on the misappropriation of Funds at BTIB 2013, Public Account Committee Evidence Session Report on the management of Ministry of Cultural Development & Te Maeva Nui 2015, Public Account Committee Evidence Session Report on the BTIB Board Resolutions on mismanagement of funds at BTIB 2013, Employment Relations (Minimum rate of Pay) Regulations 2017, Serial No. 2017/02, Public Account Committee Evidence Session Report on the Immigration Service Permit Fees 2008, Public Account Committee Evidence Session Report on the Ministry of Justice Service Fees 2017, Public Account Committee Evidence Session Report Internal Affairs Caregivers Policy and Allowance Rates.

Still on the Order Paper

Family Law Bill – Second Reading (Bill referred to Special Select Committee.

(Hon. N. Glassie) No. 7 – 2.

Notice of Introduction of Public Bills.

Financial Transactions Reporting Bill, Marae Moana Bill, Crimes Bill.

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