Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush filed a Parliamentary Question probing several aspects of the Government’s Mid-term Report, which was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Monday.
‘It’s a pile of skulduggery to get government to pay for a report that should have been paid for by [The People’s Progressive Movement],’ Mr. Bush said. ‘It sets a bad precedent.’
Mr. Bush’s Parliamentary Question is in four parts and asks who printed the report; what the cost was of production, including the printing; if Government Information Services’ staff members were used to produce any of the report; and how many copies will be printed.
The Mid-term report highlights the achievements of the Government in its first two years of office and outlines plans for the next two years.
When he tabled it in the House Monday, Leader of the Government Business Kurt Tibbetts encouraged readers to compare the report with the PPM’s 2005 election campaign manifesto.
Mr. Bush rose after Mr. Tibbetts spoke and called the report one of the PPM party, not of the government. He commented that Mr. Tibbetts had said he hopes the Mid-term Report got as much attention as the ‘little red book’, referring to the manifesto.
‘But it looks like it has a much white and blue in it as red,’ Mr. Bush said. Red, blue and white are the PPM’s party colours.
Mr. Tibbetts said the government had been careful from the onset to ensure the report was one of the government and not the PPM party. He also stated that the government had the prerogative to tell the public what it is doing.
The 44-page glossy booklet will be widely distributed, Mr. Tibbetts said. The government also posted a copy of the report on its www.gov.ky website on Tuesday.
In the House on Monday, Mr. Bush said he had no problem with the government tabling the report as a statement, which would have allowed him to ask questions about its contents. Members of the Legislative Assembly cannot ask questions about the content of reports, he pointed out.
On Tuesday, Mr. Bush said it was improper to call the report a government report.
‘It does not fall under the ambit of government reports,’ he said. ‘Standing Orders say what a government report is.’