Lashley criticises Opposition’s response


Debates on the Constitution are “no place for frivolous behaviour”.
Sharing this opinion in the Lower House yesterday, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Stephen Lashley, said that any amendment to the Constitution required a serious approach and was not a matter to fall into partisan politics.
He therefore knocked the Opposition’s response to the debate, which sought to move the retirement age of the Offices of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Auditor General from 62 to 67.
“They have dabbled in the highest level of ignorance and irrelevance that is not inspiring the country,” he stressed.
Lashley pointed out that Government was acting responsibly in dealing with the matter, which should have been dealt with by the former Barbados Labour Party administration when it brought legislation before the House to amend the pension entitlements of persons in statutory corporations, and by extension those within the public sector.
“It is proper and fitting that this matter be sorted. It does not create any constitutional issues; what it does is that it creates a situation where we are now bringing this particular issue within the confines of normalising their constitutional reality. It is also important because within the body itself, there is an absolute requirement and the reason why this is there is because these two functionaries, their tenure is protected under the Constitution. In fact, it is protected at the very highest level of entrenchment and the reason why it requires a two-thirds majority is to signal the importance of their functions.
Noting the issues raised by the Opposition, including that of the pensions of employees of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), ought not to be trivialised, Lashley nevertheless countered that these should not be tangled up with those regarding the Constitution. (JMB)

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