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Nov 29, 2017

The People’s House Has Final Say; Cannot Be Challenged

Dean Barrow

With most ministers already saying no, the PM says that a conscience vote will end with U.D.P. parliamentarians voting against the bill. In this instance, interest will admittedly continue to accrue past the ninety million dollars, because the debt will not go away from the Government’s balance sheet and in essence, he is kicking the can to a future government.  He laid out the scenarios that can unfold once the proposal is tabled.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“It is my thesis, it is my case to you today that there is a spectrum of perfectly supportable, indeed compelling reasons why our parliament when this matter comes to vote, might or might not go a certain way.  Not for me to say, not in advance of the vote.  So let me not get ahead of myself, let us wait and see, even though some of you might think that the facts point unswervingly in a certain direction.  What I will tell you is that each member of the government’s side of the house will be directed when this bill is presented, to vote his or her conscience.  So that conscience vote will apply equally to moi, equally to me, even though I am the one that’s going to be moving the bill.  We could also get into what happens in the scenario where parliament does not approve the money.  But all I will say on that score is to repeat my conviction and advice that parliament is immune from coercion, so that any decision it makes in that regard is unchallengeable. If the vote is no, people say well the interest has run for so long that’s why it’s thirty-eight million dollars to ninety, what happens?  There is a separation of powers.  Parliament doesn’t vote to pay the money, it doesn’t cancel the debt.  The judgment is a judgment of the court and that remains intact and invalid, and the interest will continue to run.  But it could run until it reaches a billion dollars.  As long as parliament doesn’t vote the money, it can’t be paid.”

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