Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has dismissed claims that government ministers travel allowances are exorbitant and they receive a monthly health allowance.
Skerrit was responding to an opposition question in Parliament on Wednesday, on the cost of travel for Government ministers in which it was suggested that government ministers travel exorbitantly and that all expenses by government officials are not accounted for.
According to the prime minister, members of the public can have access to travel entitlements of any public officer including President.
“In my case as prime minister I receive $100 US per day for meals and I believe $125 US for out of pocket expense,” he said. “When I go on state business and I have to meet with people….if I invite business people to my suite to have a meeting and I order room service and that bill comes up to $200 US, I cannot ask the treasury to refund me that. It comes from my out of pocket and meals.”
He said when public officers travel and they use their credit cards, it takes a very long time for the treasury to refund them. “I can say publicly without shred of contradiction that whenever we travel on business Madam Speaker, in most cases you are out of pocket…” he argued.
Skerrit also discredited claims made that government ministers receive a monthly health allowance. “No minister of government, including the prime minister, receives $1,000, $100 or five cents for medical every month, Madam Speaker,” he remarked. “We took a decision in cabinet, which is right I believe, that ministers should do a medical once a year. So no minister gets a monthly allowance for medical.”
Listen to the prime minister below on travel allowances.