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Demos ‘ignorant’ says Brown

Wednesday April 18, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
Finance minister Mark Brown Finance minister Mark Brown

Finance minister Mark Brown says criticism of the setting of the June 14 election date by parliamentary leader for the Democratic Party, William “Smiley” Heather shows the opposition’s “total ignorance and lack of understanding” regarding financial management and government processes.

Heather says the budget should have been passed before the election was called and says the country needs the money to function.

However, Brown says the constitution allows for the country to function, regardless of whether or not a budget has been passed.

He says current provisions allow for three-twelfths of the previous year’s budget to be used by the government. This measure ensures government departments can operate as normal.

According to law, parliament must convene within three months from the end of the fiscal year and pass a budget within that time, he adds.

“The country will still continue while the election is carrying on.”

“The payrolls will still be met, public services will still be maintained, and then the government can pass its budget after the election, which is exactly what we did in previous elections.”

“We’re quite comfortable, we’re in a good position to ensure that there are no disruptions at all to government services.”

Referring to the Democratic Party’s promise to invest $5 million into a “stimulus package” focusing on the diversification of the primary industries, including agriculture, Brown says it’s a worry when the opposition starts to talk about $5 million in the form of a “slush fund”.

“We’ve just come out of paying for one of their mistakes that they made in the past with Toagate.”

Brown says he is “really concerned” that the Demos talk of millions of dollars going into ventures that they’ve been in before, that have not succeeded.

“We’ve seen in the past many (agriculture) initiatives that spend millions of dollars and do not return anything into the growers’ pockets.”

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