Deputy prime minister Mark Brown gave a short ministerial statement yesterday, giving notice to the House of a change to the Budget. Brown later told Cook Islands News that an extra $300,000 was required by Parliamentary Services.
“This is to allow much-needed refurbishment of the Parliament chamber,” said Brown, who is also the finance minister.
The newspaper understands a proposal for refurbishment of the Parliament chamber was first made to government in 2014, but there was no appropriation made for this project.
In the 2019/20 Budget, the government allocated additional funding to Parliament to recruit key positions.
It also appropriated $100,000 for a special select committee to consult on various bills, $120,000 for the House of Ariki, $30,000 to increase the parliamentary sitting budget and $200,000 to increase the MP travel budget.
The government has also allocated $800,000 for the Civil List personnel.
This has increased the 2019/20 gross appropriation for Parliament to $4.7 million – plus the additional $300,000 taking it to a round $5 million.