Opposition challenges government on supplementary estimates

Former Prime Minister and UWP President Edison James refers to the supplementary estimates as he criticizes

ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP), which is boycotting the current sitting of the Dominica parliament, wants Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to indicate why he is seeking an additional EC$30 million (US$11.1 million) to cover government expenses for  a six-month period last year.

“What we find is that for the period 1st July 2009 to 31st December 2009 there has been an additional expenditure of EC$30 million for items which were unforeseen. You presented your budget just around the end of June 2009, but you have additional expenditure, and this would be in addition to the estimates which were allocated for the entire period. Why is that?” asked UWP president Edison James.

James, along with two other UWP elected members are boycotting the new session of Parliament to protest what they claim were irregularities in the December 18 general elections that resulted in the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) being returned to office with a comfortable 18-3 victory.

The UWP has said it would participate instead in a “People’s Parliament” organised by the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) and the Citizens Forum. That forum coincides with the parliamentary session.

James said that he also wants the government to indicate why it is allocating EC$8 million (US$2.9 million) for the Public Support Programme, dubbed the “Red Clinic”.

“…how do you explain this, because the policy we are told, with respect to the Red Clinic, is that it is designed to alleviate poverty. So then we need to know who are the people and institutions you have made this money available to,” he said.

“We ask ourselves what specially was happening in the period. And it does not take a rocket scientist to remind us that it was an election year. And when you talk about electoral corruption and classical corruption you look to the supplementary estimates,” James said.

In presenting the supplementary estimates, Prime Minister Skerrit said that the tax payers owe in excess of EC$98 million (US$36.2 million).

“We have a serious challenge in the country in respect to the amounts owed by the people of Dominica to the State. The State goes ahead and buys estates, sub divides it, put in roads, electricity water and telephones, to major cost to the state and we don’t sell the land at market value. We sell it at concessionary rates to citizens and yet still we have a number of them who do not come forward and pay what is being owed,” he said.

According to the prime minister, 40 per cent of the money owed to the Inland Revenue Department will not be collected because some of those persons in default may have died.

“But 10 per cent, 20 per cent, 30 per cent…of that amount is a significant sum, especially in light of the global crisis. So my appeal is that, while government will play its part, a country cannot be developed by government alone,” he said.

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42 Comments

  1. renn
    February 7, 2010

    please please,Mr Eddison James stop acting like a fool. The people of D.A and overseas are laughing at you. Yes we are not in DA but thank you dno for keeping us up to date. Mr. James stop acting like a spoilt 2 year old . Go parliament and ask question. Stop this nonesense and agree allu lost. Frankly sir, if I hear some ridiculous statement from you and Mr Green , I will go loco.
    Zor ped . Move on .

  2. February 6, 2010

    Hear my cry oh Lord attend unto our prayers What is all this foolishness about opposition the ayes have it all the time spags my brother be principled eddison i dont know what to say prevost so long be the christian if you are but please donot drag the country to more confusion . wake up work for the good of Da get the young energetic motivators of this party to set the way fwd and do something in this way get the power houses to the house now in time to speak as for me i want to be a senator please please

  3. Shocked
    February 6, 2010

    Any Dominican has the right to ask questions of our politicians. Tony Blair (if you know who that is!) is currently being asked questions. These leaders will lead you all to hell and back but really that wont happen cus the ones who put them there are the FIRST TO RUN.

  4. xman
    February 6, 2010

    young man in domnica you’re a perfect idiot all dominican have the right to ask question take your lips off skerrit a////// yes i am vex but never will i lost i will be there to fight fools like you for the sake of my country

  5. February 5, 2010

    I have read some of the comments and I must say I never thought that DOMINICANS could be so silly when will they understand ELECTION is over, for some reason DOMINICANS are still in an election mood when will they be able to move on, DOMINICA is so divided and it’s boiling up and soon it will explode and you all cannot blame the OPPOSITION PARTIES for the downfall that is comming. It seems that for the pass ten years u chose not to be interested in what was going on in the HOUSE and how they were treated by the House Speaker and her attitude towards them so why are u all so disappointed that they decided to take a Constitutional stand yes that’s what it’s all about people, so stop the campaigning and stop the nasty personal attach and take the free time u have on your hands and focus on the issues.

    Election is over we have a PM in office, now it’s all about DEMOCRACY and the CONSTITUTION that is the only issues that we should be debating but of cause we as DOMINICANS do not debate issues instead we just dish out personal attach on one another once we do see things as black and white with the ruling party and that doesnt benefit anyone, we have to stop that senseless brand of justice if DOMINICA is to move forward.

    How can we say we love DOMINICA when we cannot respect each others opinions of ideals we are such a shallow set of people but we can do batter than that I am sure of it.

  6. Nitara
    February 5, 2010

    @ Jennifer
    Sweetheart I’m an educated teacher, and also self employed with my online business. I lol at you pple who would sit at home perpetually blue vex and believe that only underpriviledged folks voted dlp. And poor?! Lol. Darling I’ve got my own home at thirty one, no debts, and enough money in the bank. And a man who pulls his own weight…(Hope u at least got one of those). I don’t need govt handouts sweetheart, I can afford to hand out. So keep your hatefilled bias uninformed uneducated statement to yourself!!!! Its because I want to continue livin this contented, peaceful and debt free life that I wore red. Maybe who you saw were pple who weren’t too uptight like they got a constant hot poker up their a**, relaxing and letting their hair down. Get. Over. yourself.

  7. Jennifer
    February 5, 2010

    You people keep talking about Mr. James should, Mr. Jame should, Mr. James should, why don’t you people demand an explanation for this exorbitant supplementary estimates. It is also your DEMOCRATIC RIGHT TO KNOW. You people don’t pay tax in this country. Edison is very right not to go to Parliament. I want Skerrit to go back to parliament and ask for another $30 million by March and when June comes incease tax again by 15%.

    Sa ki bon pour zor…………………………..

    And all those who attacking the opposition, I hope all your finances are in order, because as far as I saw for the election is only poor, underprivildged people that was dressed in red.

  8. WENDS
    February 5, 2010

    WAIT A MINUTE, Are You Kidding me! Which part of Personalities you don’t understand?
    My Point Is Well made by your comment/post, When did I commend THE UWP not participating in Parliament was the right thing to do.

    If you didn’t understand what I wrote I will restate it for you>

    IT SHOULD NOT MATTER WHERE THE QUESTIONS ARE ASKED, BE IT PARLIAMENT OR NOT. THE ISSUE SHOULD BE IS THERE ANY TRUTH TO QUESTION,IS THE QUESTION A VALID ONE OR IS IT BASELESS.
    SHOULD A LIE OR A TRUTH STATED IN ONE LOCATION BE DIFFERENT IF STATED IN ANOTHER LOCATION RELATING TO THE SAME ISSUE?

    THIS IS PART OF THE PROBLEM YOU’RE EQUATING WHAT I SAID, WHICH SHOULD SERVE AS FOOD FOR THOUGHT, TO PERSONAL ATTACKS, BECAUSE YOU THINK I FAVOR ONE PARTY OVER THE OTHER.

    YOU HAVE A MIND USE IT. THINK DEEPER THAN YOU DID.

  9. rassulfur
    February 5, 2010

    Answer Skerrit

  10. vibes
    February 5, 2010

    ..but d one tht will touch my grandmother land will see. i waiting.

  11. vibes
    February 5, 2010

    don’t u know money make people go mad. we sell our souls for money. we kill for money and dominicans will do anything to have money. why u think they love little rosevelt chavez so much? money my fellow dominicans. but all long ropes have an end. i wonder what will happen when red clinic cannot reach our demands when it becomes bankrupt? that’s what u should sit and wonder mr. pm.

  12. WENDS
    February 5, 2010

    THOUGHTFUL
    So I Guess we should continue to be disengaged, be uneducated about the Issues and leave up to the System to correct itself. Because the “Constitution creates the framework and place to settle these issues”.

    Was the SABBATH Created for MAN or Man Created For the SABBATH ?

    I will try not to allow myself to believe that you’re that NAIVE or That I am, to think you would believe that I would think, it is that simple.

    It is thinking like this that leads us into the condition we’re presently in. We leave it up to the so called representatives we elect to speak on our behave, at least we think it to be the case, but in your complex world is it really what happens.

    I would be doing myself a disservice to believe that we can change the system without using the same rules and framework that are set up to allow the system to operate.

    My Friend all I’m saying is that we the people have to become engaged in the process not only at election time but make our voices be heard constantly. Being Engaged doesn’t mean that every citizen should be participating in or be at the table when those Representative negotiate the intricate processes of the nation, I would think that not to be realistic.

    Let me ask you a question, How confident are you, about how your Government works? Are there Institutions in Dominica that checks the system you say must exist or else there would be chaos, Do you actually know how much a project really cost or how the monies are being spent, DO YOU!

  13. wow
    February 5, 2010

    Dominica is a hot mess. geez…. I don’t understand why everything has to be about politics, this is a just question no matter who it comes from.. Dominican politics is just so primitive as with everything else i suppose.

  14. Wait A Minute
    February 5, 2010

    To Wends, my two year old daughter makes more sense than you do. How on earth can you justify elected members of parliament skipping the parliament where they are constitutionally obligated to pose questions and receive answers on matters such as government spendings etc. and to sit on important committees that can legally scrutinize and hold the government accountable for its actions and instead go to an entertainment nightclub among a few, wary looking party supporters, called a ‘Peoples Parliament’ to seek answers on matters which were brought up in the ‘real’ parliament where they were supposed to be in the first place? I mean, come on, be fair my friend, take off your blue glasses for a while. I am sure that you are not as dumb as you sound. Where on earth does that kind of comedy happens? These guys must surely be the laughting stock of the rest of the Caribbean and the world by extension. Not even in Afghanistan or Iraq would the parliamentary opposition behave in that way.

  15. Thoughtful
    February 5, 2010

    Oh WENDS wouldn’t it be nice if life was that simple and everything was in black and white?

    You might be talking the ideal but we live in the real world and that is a whole different ball game.

    Our system has a set of rules and regulations to work within and they have to be followed or else there is chaos.

    We elect people to speak on our behalf and that is why we have a Parliament (similarly there is the Congress and the House of Representatives in the US). Can you imagine every Dominican debating the budgetary estimates? We would be here for years.

    There is a place for everything and our Constitution provides the framework for it.

    I see your point but it is not that simple.

  16. WENDS
    February 5, 2010

    I’m amazed at the childish comments being stated in this forum! Are you guys kidding me.

    Governments are voted into office first and foremost to serve the people, it is not about personalities, its not about being in parliament or in a club house, if a question/ issue is brought and there is merit to it , should it matter by who or where the question is asked?

    People personalities come and go, Parties come and go as well, This is not about Labour or UWP, Red virus Blue.

    I know it is much easier, more sensational to take sides, Than to educate ourselves on the real issues that effects us. Stop Being so easily distracted with petty politics, then we complain about how the system is, we got to wake up and demand change, Remind these politicians that their fundamental duty is to serve the people and to look out always for the good of the nation.

    IT IS NOT ABOUT PERSONALITIES, OR PARTIES IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE ABOUT OUR NATION DOMINICA AND WHAT’S BEST FOR HER…. AND HER PEOPLE. WAKE UP!!!

    SO NOT ONLY THE POLITICIANS WHO SHOULD BE ASKING THE QUESTIONS BUT WE, THE PEOPLE AS WELL, IT IS OUR DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO DO SO… AND DEMAND THOSE QUESTIONS BE ANSWERED!

  17. Thoughtful
    February 5, 2010

    @lookingon, if you read my post carefully you will understand what I am saying and would stop being ignorant and narrow minded.

    I said in my post every one has a Constitutional right to question their leaders but in Mr. James’ case AS AN ELECTED MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT he should be taking this matter to Parliament and not sit on the side like the rest of us and talk.

    Mr. James’ position is unique in that he was elected by the people of his constituency to speak on their behalf. And where do elected members speak LEGALLY on the behalf of their constituents? According to the Constitution, IN PARLIAMENT. Not in some press release or public meeting or forum. So then why was Parliament instituted in the first place?

    Look at the issues objectively and stop giving shallow opinions without any reasoning.

  18. ron
    February 5, 2010

    Who said, “the older you get the wiser you are?” Eddie and Ron just keep making one bad decision after the next. When are they going to learn? In spite of that I think Eddie is just waiting for Ron to throw in the towel. Ron is embarrassed but doesn’t know how to step down. Eddie is just giving him all the rope that he needs to take care of his business, lol.

  19. Eric Cartman
    February 5, 2010

    @ Ebony

    Skerrit is trembling in his boots? Why? do enlighten me. I was about to call u an idiot but then maybe you know something i don’t?

    Cuz I would think with 18 seats in the bag, and the IMF predicting economic growth, that Skerrit is pretty much sitting pretty right now

  20. STRAIGHT FORWARD
    February 5, 2010

    Let them stay outside and ask questions, I wonder who will answer them? Stop making fools of yourselves.

  21. Dominican lover
    February 5, 2010

    It is obvious the people of dominica re more intelligent than the UWP reps. Can any of their advisors please inform them that the place for their questions is in the house.

  22. February 5, 2010

    Its time the Dominican people get sober and open the eyes from the drinks

    that was taken in December.

  23. lisad
    February 5, 2010

    But that’s a very good question. Why couldn’t Mr. James ask that question in parliament?

    • June 14, 2013

      Why dont you ask the house speaker to allow Mr.James to ask his questions

  24. Looking on
    February 5, 2010

    @Thoughtful is a real boomboom. So people are not entitled to ask their leaders questions if they are not in parliament. What an A Hole

  25. As I SEE IT
    February 5, 2010

    Has Mr. James taken back his party? I know .. Ron by .. so many foolish things, like launching a manifesto that did not exist, standing bail for a ..who was defacing, etc. So right now Mr. James is back in. It only stands to reason. The divine plan is that EDDIE found UWP … He will see it die. Ron take the cue. Leave Eddison party for him. La plaine people still love you. Stop being the fool YOU ARE NOT.

  26. ebony (LA massive)
    February 5, 2010

    mr james and the rest of the uwp has everyright to ask any question they wish. is bcuz of those questions mr skerrit is now trembling in his boots. i support them 100% and who vex lost. is time for allu ignorant dominicans to open allu eyes n get off the ride skerrit has allu on. stupid pple.

  27. Eric Cartman
    February 5, 2010

    Hmm so who is the voice of the UWP, Ron or Eddie?

  28. Thoughtful
    February 5, 2010

    Mr. James and some other people on this blog should know that such issues must be raised in Parliament.

    While anyone has a constitutional right to express their view concerning the supplementary estimates (or any other thing, as a matter of fact), in his position as an elected member of Parliament Mr. James should raise the issue in Parliament.

    In his position (and I stress again, as an elected member of Parliament) He cannot expect to boycott Parliament and voice concerns on matters raised in there.

    It is almost laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

  29. Vex with Them
    February 5, 2010

    How is it that UWP wants to have their cake and at it. If you wanted to ask question based on what was said in the real parliament you should have presented yourselves to be sworn. Stop being so disgruntled. Domini cans voted 18-3 and that is to shows how free and fair the election was. If you ad gotten 10 and labour 11 maybe you would have had a case but 18-3 is too clear.

    You guys really have guts. Get real and come clean with your true hurt feelings.

    The work of the nation will continue without you so stay out as long as you like. But also remember no salary for you guys.

  30. WAIT A MINUTE
    February 5, 2010

    Mr James how can you ask the Honorable PM to answer questions which should have been raised in the Parliament, from a .. gathering at the Harlem Plaza? With all due respect sir my advice to you is that you should stop making a fool of yourself and together with your two other colleagues who were elected by the people, return to the true Peoples Parliament, the Dominica House of Assembly which is the correct forum where these questions should have been posed. Until then, the PM is under no obligation to give you any answers. period.

  31. ron
    February 5, 2010

    Mr. James has the right to ask all the questions he wants but need to do it in the appropriate venu. I hope the PM doesn’t entertain this childish behavior because this is what the house of assembly is for. I’m not sure why these guys insist on embarrassing themselves. Please represent the people correctly! Shame on you.

  32. Jammers
    February 5, 2010

    Mr James You look Tired …. You and Ron .. under the YES WE CARE PROGRAMME.. You are entitled to free medical care etc. Instead of resting your sore joints and jaws you decided to go and make pappy show at harlem plaza. Its clear that Dominicans don’t even want you guyys as opposition. Rest back and make young vibrant ppl move the party forward before Eddo take the party to the grave with him.

  33. February 5, 2010

    WAIT AND ALL YOU WILL SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN SOON. WHO IN THE FIRE WILL FEEL IT. I FOR SURE NOT IN IT. LET THE MAN EXPRESS HIS POLITICAL VIEWS. WHAT IS U ALL PPL PROBLEM

  34. Dominican
    February 5, 2010

    Mr. James shouldn’t be asking the Prime Minister any questions through their “People’s Parliament”. This is not a recognised parliament it’s only a big joke put together by some very sore losers. If you were really interested in the affairs of my beloved Dominica you would have gone to the Parliament to represent the people who voted for you and be an actual Opposition and ask the PM your questions. As it stands you’ve given up that right. So keep your questions to yourself and your fellow jokers. Then in the end you all come with your foolishness about a “one party state”! You actually allowing this by neglecting to represent your people! You fools! You giving the PM the liberty to do as he pleases. In the end it’s not him! It’s still on you! Grow up man!

  35. February 5, 2010

    Mr James you have well spoken in asking such questions.

    Go to the House next time and put it to them !

  36. LMAO
    February 5, 2010

    haa haa haa haa

    hey, i found a new source of comics…. and it’s reading anything that involves the UWP.. How do these guys insist on boycotting parliament and then make requests of government? You can’t have your cake and eat it too, Mr James!!
    By the by, they speak so much of the constitution, yet i’m wondering if the actions of the UWP constitutional? just wondering……………………..

    PEACE!!

  37. Liberated
    February 5, 2010

    Shouldn’t mr James be in the house of assembly asking these questions in his capacity as opposition leader rather than foolishly sitting on the outside with his foolish boycott? Does he seriously think the PM will take him seriously and reply?

  38. Marigot
    February 5, 2010

    Uncle James I will and shall for ever suport you , but when you associate yourself with people who are making you look like a pupet on a string then you will go no where. Stop the PM PM PM story and start by saying what you the party are going to do to better Dominica . ..

  39. sari- Laplaine
    February 5, 2010

    Is it only now that the Prime Minister knows tat people should pay land taxes ..

  40. 100% Dominican
    February 5, 2010

    Mr. James go and ask that in the house. the house you all boycotting. Go and represent the ppl that put you all there.

  41. Young Man in Dominica
    February 5, 2010

    MR JAMES YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO ASK ANY QUESTION …. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO ASK OUR PRIME MINISTER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT IN OPPOSITION YOU AE NOT PART OF Parliament SIR

    WHO VEX WITH MY STATEMENT LOST

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