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Opposition MP’s deny receiving government funds for Independence celebrations

MP for St. Andrew Southeast Emmalin Pierre: Opposition MP’s are yet to receive funds from government related to independence constituency activities

We have other people who sit within the Cabinet of Grenada who are sending people to our offices saying to them that we would have received EC$10,000 in support of activities for independence. Let me make it abundantly clear – none of our members here would have received any money from the government up to this point as it relates to independence celebration.

Those were the words of Member of Parliament for St. Andrew South East, Emmalin Pierre as she refuted claims that the five (5) Opposition MP’s received EC$10,000.00 from the government to support constituency activities for the 50th independence celebrations.

Pierre, a former Minister for Education, addressed the issue in response to a question posed at a Press Conference held Monday by the main Opposition New National Party (NNP).

As part of the independence celebrations, the government has engaged in a nationwide clean-up campaign to beautify communities through the island with the planting of flowers along the roadsides, painting bridges, bus stops, roadside and murals in national colours.

According to Pierre, who is serving her third successive term in Parliament, not only have they not received the alleged EC$10,000, but they have also not received the constituency allowance as announced by Finance Minister Dennis Cornwall during the presentation of the 2024 budget in December.

“As a matter of fact, we have some serious concerns about documents we have seen and we await an opportune time to discuss those with the government,” she said.

Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Mitchell who attended the press briefing announced plans to file questions in Parliament to the relevant government minister about the spending of EC$15 million, which was approved by the House for this year’s milestone event in the 2024 budget.

“We will be doing so shortly…we need to get a thorough understanding of how the money allocated for independence celebrations was spent,” Dr. Mitchell told reporters.

His comments comes almost three (3) months after he, along with his four Opposition MP’s boycotted the Finance Committee meeting last November, which saw the approval of the draft 2024 Annual Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, which was presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Dennis Cornwall on December 4.

Dismissing allegations of a planned boycott by the Opposition MP’s of national activities in recognition of Independence Day on Wednesday, Dr. Mitchell affirmed that the “NNP has never been partisan in national issues.”

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