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Apr 1, 2016

Senators Credit Former Financial Secretary for Position on Budget Consultations

Eamon Courtenay

Failure to meet with social partners and the Opposition on the budget is a point of concern that has been raised in the senate and seasoned parliamentarian Eamon Courtenay. Even as he led the charge in voicing that displeasure, he found common ground with Barnett on the need to consult.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Opposition Senator

“Her comments on the lack of consultation.  I was extremely critical of the fact that the budget was prepared, as I said, concocted in the Cabinet room.  The union senator, Senator Smith, Senator Rocke from the Churches, Senator Lizarraga, the entire social partners and the Opposition made it a point of harshly criticizing the government for preparing a budget in which there is absolutely no consultation with stakeholders and the general public.  Again, unusually and to her credit, Senator Barnett indicated that she agreed and accepted the criticism and encouraged those who will prepare the next budget that it was necessary to have meaningful, to use her words, meaningful consultation.  She of course, reminded the senate that when she was financial secretary budgets were prepared through consultation.  So again, there is some hope that there are people in the United Democratic Party who are trying to think on a national level and on an objective level and not purely political and that is the type of thing that I believe would deepen our democracy, strengthen people’s confidence in government and government’s expenditure and we certainly are happy that Senator Barnett found it possible to associate herself with the comments that other senators were making.”

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