Responding to the PUP Senators is the Attorney General, Michael Peyrefitte. After the PUP’s press briefing, we sought out Peyrefitte for a response to the comments made by Senators Eamon Courtenay and Valerie Woods. Peyrefitte admitted that there was a delay in bringing the appropriation bill but the reason behind the delay, he says, is practical, not illegal.
MICHAEL PEYREFITTE, UDP SENATOR
“I won’t be like them. I won’t violate- there is a purpose why the committee meeting is private and I won’t be like them and violate it but at no time, at no time did the Fin Sec say ”Procedures were not followed.” at no time did he say that. You know I feel so sorry for the people in this country who support the opposition. I mean the opposition senators and members in the House they are just so incompetent and to call a press conference to discuss a matter that was recorded and debated yesterday just reeks of utter desperation on the part of the PUP. Listen there was a practical reason for the delay in bringing the appropriations, you cannot know in certain instances, you don’t budget for a hurricane from year to year, for example, you don’t budget for a hurricane. So if a hurricane occurs or it comes close enough that causes damage you have to immediately come to the rescue of the people in need and when that is done you do an appropriations budget to cover the expense of taking care of people- those things cannot be completed in a day, a week or in a month. The PUP were trying for a gotcha moment yesterday. Five or six or so PUP senators were trying to accomplish a gotcha moment by bringing in the Financial Secretary to have him explain what happened and the Financial Secretary without divulging what happened in the committee meeting explained fully the reason for this. When we left the Senate everybody was satisfied with the explanation; the financial secretary even told them ‘if you want further explanation on the issues then clearly you can always go to him and he would give you that explanation. At no time during the committee meeting did the financial secretary indicate that the Minister of Finance or any other government official was in default or caused the breaking of some law and some violation of the Finance and Audit Act. I mean the PUP talking about a violation of the Finance and Audit Act? Really? So I mean it’s just to me it’s desperate and it shows an extreme sign of weakness and insecurity on behalf of the PUP.”
According to Peyrefitte, if the Senators needed additional information on how the monies were spent two years ago, they should have asked the Financial Secretary prior to the Senate Sitting.
MICHAEL PEYREFITTE, UDP SENATOR
“When it comes to emergency situations you have to deal with the problem immediately and because it is an unusual situation, acts of God, then after that what you do you go back, you assess how much you have spent and then you come with the appropriations budget. As well what the Financial Secretary told them yesterday you don’t spend a certain amount of money then go to the house, spend some more and go to the house no. You wait until all expense has accumulated and what you do is that it takes time for you to accumulate the expenses and the damage and when everything has been assessed then you go back to the house and do one appropriation budget- that’s how it’s done. I don’t know what’s so unclear about that. Listen if you want that information its there for you to get it. We’ll be producing thick documents like this every time for what? For no reason. You have the appropriations budget right there if you want more details you can go and get it. In the debate, Senator Salas proved that that is how you can do it. He wanted more information on the numbers and he went to the FinSec and he got more information why can’t the rest of the Senators do that? It’s not a sit down and lay back sport you have to get down and go and get it and you are entitled to it. So do you really need to go into all of that when if you want more details for your own edification and debate you can go and get it but the numbers are there and the way the numbers are being produced now, appropriations budget and the way they are produced in a general budget is the way that they’ve been producing them from Philip Goldson was PUP.”