Free Cars. I have heard it on the radio. I have heard it on the television news. Government has given the Hon Hubert Hughes the keys to a brand new
I heard the debate in the House of Assembly a couple of months ago. It was said then that the government had decided that when any minister chose to go home and not to run in general elections again, he would be allowed to keep his official government car. That would be a free car purchased out of our taxes for every member of the governing party! No one in the House objected.
I understand there was a lot of disquiet on the street about this suggestion.
I am pleased to see the courageous and spirited way in which Haydn Hughes and other young persons are debating the propriety of this gift on the thread on Anguilla Talk titled "Vehicle for Mr Hubert Hughes".
I checked the Financial Audit and Administration Act. It seems to me that the Accountant General could only authorise these payments if they are sanctioned by an Appropriation Act.
Will public criticism of government ministers giving themselves private vehicles purchased with our tax dollars be stilled and calmed by their first giving all the members of the Loyal Opposition brand new cars, or their value?
Will someone tell me under what authority the Governor in Council can transfer ownership of any public property, including a government car, to a Minister?
Under what law can the government authorise the use of public funds to purchase a car for all members of the Opposition?
Can the House of Assembly ever authorise the giving away of government property without the overriding sanction of a law?
And, if they pass a law to approve a questionable transaction, does that make it any more ethical and acceptable?
It is probably the intention to introduce into the House of Assembly at some later date a Supplementary Appropriation Bill to authorise this payment from public funds. It will be interesting to see who, if anyone, in the House speaks and votes against it.