PM to meet with members of Opposition regarding COVID-19
DR RALPH GONSALVES, prime minister
March 24, 2020

PM to meet with members of Opposition regarding COVID-19

PRIME MINISTER Dr Ralph Gonsalves will meet with members of the Opposition some time this week to discuss particular issues relating to COVID-19.

And chief among the discussions will be the economic recovery package.

Last week, Gonsalves announced that the Disaster Contingency Fund, built up through certain taxes and which now amounts to approximately $33 million, will be tapped into to assist with the economic fallout from COVID-19.

He said the Contingency Fund is part of a set of measures the Government is using to help weather the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on Star Radio yesterday, the Prime Minister said he would like to give the Opposition a chance to discuss with him the economic recovery package before it is taken to Parliament.

“I’d like to give them before I take it to Parliament some idea of some of the details of it. If they have any ideas…they can themselves think about it rather than in an adversarial context in the Parliament,” he commented.

The Government is expected to present a Supplementary Appropriation Bill to Parliament on Thursday.

He said that in a competitive parliamentary system like we have, by the time an issue reaches the House of Assembly, the lines are drawn, so a conversation outside Parliament will be done.

“I would have an appropriate time sometime this week. I’d like to have a conversation with the parliamentary Opposition, or a representation of them, particularly in relation to the economic stimulus package moving forward,” Gonsalves said.

Leader of the Opposition Dr Godwin Friday said last week that the New Democratic Party (NDP) is willing to work with the government to address the COVID-19 pandemic.