I fully support MLA Ezzard Miller, our outspoken Independent Member representing East End, for announcing he is bringing a motion to the House to defer the introduction of three new members to the Legislative Assembly (LA) at the next election.
âThe constitution says âmayâ and not âshallâ, so there is no legal requirement that forces governmentâs hand,â Miller said. âWe simply cannot afford the extra politicians at the moment and it seems sensible to both myself and Mr McLean [East End MLA and now an Independent member after resigning last week from the PPM Party he helped found] that the government could reconsider installing the three extra seats and save some money.â
The 2009 constitution took the responsibility for financial matters from the administrative arm of government and placed it in the hands of elected members, creating a Minister of Finance.
This resulted in the need for a sixth ministerial Cabinet post. Â However, this caused a problem and in order to retain the balance between Cabinet and backbench MLAs on both government and the opposition sides of the Legislative Assembly there was a need to have three more seats.
But Miller believes it is not a compulsory requirement.
If anything was required we need less not more MLAâs. Â It is not a full time job as is apparent from the businesses most of the MLAâs have âon the sideâ. Â Some have more than one.
However, there has seemed to have been a real need for MLAâs, especially on the government side, to go away on overseas trips all at our expense.
Most of their actual work is done by civil servants and a reduction would not make any noticeable difference except to the Budget. Â With the three additional seats would we notice any difference? Â No, except to the Budget.
We cannot afford three more seats and we donât need three more seats.
Push ahead Mr. Miller. I am positive you will have a lot of support, although not perhaps by the persons who are filling the seats today in the LA. They probably would welcome some more friends to chat, eat and go away with. Â All at our expense.