By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Finance Minister Winston Jordan has defended a decision taken in the National Assembly not to answer some questions put to him by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo saying that the questions were “out of order.”
On the last day of the consideration of the budget estimates, Jordan refused to answer a slew of questions put forward by Jagdeo, but Jordan says that Jagdeo had no legal grounds to ask such questions.
“Jagdeo had every opportunity to ask me any question he wanted within the Standing Orders of Parliament…I refused to answer questions that are not within the Standing Orders…the questions that were attempted to be asked were out of order,” said Jordan.
He insisted that if the Opposition Leader wanted to ask any questions that were within the remits of the Standing Orders, he was prepared to answer.
Jordan further criticized the quality and quantity of the questions posed to him during the budget considerations, stating that it was designed to embarrass someone at a government agency.
“All those questions that were asked were designed to embarrass somebody in the Ministry or some other place,” he stated adding, “If people say we blundered well I can’t say we blundered it was just a question of interpretation.”
Pointing to the old age pension, Jordan made it clear that the figure stated in the estimates was “absolutely correct” adding that Minister Volda Lawrence was short changed with respect to the aid she was receiving from the Ministerial staff.
“It is really sad that they tried to make a meal out of these senior citizens,” said Jordan.
Former Junior Finance Minister Bishop Juan Edghill is alleging that the new APNU+AFC government has failed to appropriately budget for the increases in old age pension and public assistance in the 2015 Budget presented by the Finance Minister.
Edghill raised the issue in the National Assembly on Wednesday, August 26 where he pointed out that no significant increases to the allocation for old age pensions were made in the 2015 Budget.