The Rick Houenipwela-led Government has been urged not to set a bad precedence in illegal government spending.
Member of Parliament for Aoke Langa Langa Matthew Wale made the point in Parliament in his debate on the 2018 Supplementary Appropriation Number Two Bill 2018 today.
Members of the current government including the Prime Minister were residing at the Heritage Park Hotel in the lead up to government formation last year.
Referring to the hotel bills incurred at that time Mr Wale says it is illegal spending outside of the Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations, PER.
“Sir the funding for the bill incurred at the Heritage Park Hotel by the Government side during the lobbying period leading up to the election of this current Prime Minister. Sir it is important to be clear as stated by the Public Accounts Committee report that this is outright illegal expenditure.
“All emoluments and benefits due to members of parliament can only be those regulated by the Parliamentary Entitlements Regulation. There is no other way the government can provide benefits outside the Parliamentary Entitlements Regulation”.
He described this as a bad decision on the back of a weak leadership.
“The Prime Minister knew that this is not right, I ask him to stop it. Despite it being included in and being able to pass it as you have numbers, I will oppose that particular vote but you knew what’s right, Prime Minister stick with it.
“I don’t know why you even allowed it into the supplementary budget, you should never have allowed it in.
“So we have a situation where the PER determines emoluments for members of parliament, anything outside of it is illegal. Now we have a budget, supplementary budget which is seeking to legalize an expenditure that was not awarded under the PER Mr Speaker”.
By: Rickson Bau