…says this will reduce Parliamentary food bill
Amid concerns that the food bill for one parliament sitting is costing tax payers approximately $700,000, Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo is suggesting that free alcoholic beverages to MPs be stopped.
“It is the alcohol part that I have a problem with, we should buy our alcohol in Parliament. Put a canteen there or something like that and let’s have somebody sell it and if the MPs want to have a drink anywhere in the lounge, they can do that but not ask tax payers to pay the bills,” Jadgeo said.
The Opposition Leader was responding to concerns about the ‘extravagance’ on food every time the National Assembly meets.
Jagdeo remarked: “We should have really a no-alcohol policy up there. Let people buy their liquor if they want to. You have some of them up there with their entire monthly salary; even the raised salary, the 50% increase, would not be enough to pay for the liquor that they would consume”.
At $700,000 per sittings, plus committee meetings, it means almost $80M would have been spent in the three years alone.
Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs recently disclosed that the Assembly Committee of the National Assembly considered and gave approval for a number of food suppliers to be invited through the restrictive bidding process to supply snacks.
The four suppliers that bid were Maggie’s Snackette and Catering Service; Ambience Restaurant and Catering Service; Carnegie School of Home Economics and Water Chris Hotel and Bar.
According to Isaacs, the contract was awarded by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) on July 5, 2018 to Maggie’s Snackette and Catering Service for the supply of meals and snacks for sittings of the National Assembly and Committee Meetings. (Kizzy Coleman)