Contentious Clauses Led Opposition Senators to Vote Against NIDS Bill

The Opposition says two clauses maintained in the NIDS Bill caused its Senators to vote against the legislation in the Upper House last night.

The PNP outlined its position at a media briefing this afternoon at its Old Hope Road headquarters in St. Andrew.

If for no other reason Tuesday’s gathering at PNP Headquarters is to set the record straight as to why the eight Opposition Senators voted against the Bill.

In making the point Opposition leader Dr Peter Phillips says the Bill which came to the Senate and was moved by the government differs significantly from the one that came through the House of Representatives.

He says when the Bill was first tabled in the lower house the opposition argued that it should have been referred to a joint select committee of Parliament. among other things.

For Dr Phillips, the approach taken by the government shows that enough preparation was not done as 2 hundred and 68 amendments had to be made.

Despite these amendments though he says two main reasons caused Opposition senators to vote against the Bill.

These are what he calls the mandatory provisions for citizens to register and a hefty penalty if they decide not to.

But the PNP Leader says the Opposition is most concerned about clause 41 which denies citizens who do not register access to necessary public services.

He’s of the view that the decision to reinsert the clause raises questions about the government’s credibility.