Govt & Opposition Senators Spar over States of Public Emergency

Government and Opposition Senators traded jibes over their differing positions on further extensions of the States of Public Emergency across the island.

This, after PNP members in the Lower House withdrew support for the security measures earlier this week.

This means without intervention, the SOE’s will now come to an end in January next year. It was clear this afternoon that the Senate was no less immune from the drama which unfolded in the House of Representatives earlier this week. It was Opposition Senator Lambert Brown in making a contribution on the debate regarding the income tax amendment bill 2018 which revealed the split in the Senate.

The bill itself which seeks to correct an administrative error in the country’s income tax laws was passed unanimously in the Lower House late Tuesday evening.

Senator Brown noted that the Opposition will support any measure in both chambers if they deem it lawful, making clear reference to further extensions of the States of Public Emergency which the PNP views as unconstitutional.

The jibe was not lost on Government Senator Kamina Johnson Smith who took charge of the Income Tax Bill in the Upper House.

However, the matter did not end there. Government Senator Don Wheby also made reference to the States of Public Emergency during his presentation as part of the State of the Nation Debates.

He’s calling on the Opposition and Government to meet on the issue.

However, in the final remarks of the Senate this year, Opposition Senator KD Knight says both sides of the Parliament must be allowed to support legislation as they see fit.

The Senate has been adjourned for the rest of the year and will resume its sittings sometime in 2019.

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