CARONI Central MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie would like the Government. including Attorney General (AG) Faris Al-Rawi. to stop berating Opposition MPs.
His complaint came yesterday (Friday) as he spoke in the House of Representatives on the Report of a Special Select Committee on the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2018.
“The Attorney General likes to be pejorative, likes to ridicule Members of the House, but if you say anything here in the House, he is one the first to get up and cite a standing order,” Tewarie said. “He likes to use scare tactics, as he did here, of all the things that would happen (if the bill fails.)”
Tewarie wondered who was to blame for Parliament being at a stage where everything was “about to fall down.”
Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George chided him to limit himself to the report but he said he was replying to issues raised moments before by the AG. Tewarie said it seemed the AG wanted to water down the bill by removing those of its provisions that need a special majority. He complained that “a very wide gap” exists between the AG’s legislative agenda and Parliament’s actual work.
“The Government’s style is to browbeat the Opposition to conform.”
Accusing the AG of not having known about a related bill, the Tax Information Exchange Bill, he said the Government has entirely failed to manage TT’s international obligations.
Seemingly referring to a People’s National Movement meeting on Thursday at Port of Spain City Hall, where the Prime Minister accused the Opposition of perpetrating a “sham” meeting over the bill, Tewarie complained the Government had deliberately set up that meeting to blame and vilify the Opposition.
He also complained about the handling of the debate.
“You are debating a bill on transparency and free exchange of information, yet you don’t have transparency and free exchange of information.”
Tewarie claimed the Government had not been ready to take office in 2015 and after three years it still seemed unready.