Tempers flared at today’s sitting of Parliament’s standing finance committee after Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips raised the possibility of the Opposition mounting street protests.
Dr. Phillips delivered the warning after Finance Minister Audley Shaw said the Government would not be able to begin the process of re-verifying the voters’ list this fiscal year.
Minister Shaw made the disclosure while answering a question from his Opposition counterpart, Mark Golding.
Opposition MP, Julian Robinson, reminded Mr. Shaw that during debate on the Supplementary Estimates last year he had committed that the administration will during this upcoming fiscal year find $700-million needed to clean up the voters’ list.
Mr. Shaw conceded that he did make that commitment.
But he said that a higher authority, that is the Cabinet of Jamaica, has since decided that the money must be allocated to help attend to urgent national security concerns.
Mr. Shaw defended himself and the administration after Dr. Phillips accused him of insulting the nation’s Parliament.
Tempers flared when Mr. Shaw told Dr Phillips he could have cleaned up the voters’ list when he was Finance Minister.
Meanwhile, Dr. Phillips rejected suggestions from Government MPs he’s threatening to destabilize the country with street protests.
Government MP and Minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr. Horace Chang defended Minister Shaw.
Dr. Chang accused Dr. Phillips of mounting an unbecoming attack on the Finance Minister.
— 30 —