“If they can’t play the role of opposition; how are they going to play the role of government?” he questioned.
He aded: “So this so-called boycott of Parliament is nothing more than a show of their collective political desperation and a blatant (exhibit) of their brave disrespect of the proud tradition of this honourable assembly; their predecessors and those who have served so honourably on this side of the house over our history Mr. Speaker.”
Skerritt remarked that: “This is the first time that all of them have been so collectively bombastic in their disrespect for the sacred traditions of this honourable assembly so as to all be absent at the same time from an entire budget statement and debate.”
He called the opposition’s boycott irresponsible and childish behaviour.
“Mr. Speaker this irresponsible and childish behaviour could be seen and recorded for what it is. Mr. Speaker it is no more than a petty political grandstanding by members opposite, who in my opinion are being intellectual lazy in the face of a challenging budget debate and it is mainly because little factually or analytically to criticize following the IMF’s (International Monetary Fund) – I believe – surprise media conference Monday afternoon,” he remarked.
“Mr. Speaker they also agonize over how to get the media attention away from the IMF’s ….how best to get the media attention from the budget address yesterday and you know what have happened since they have dominated the airways on the local radio stations, locally and regionally and they have put together a campaign to suggest that there is something wrong with this government,” Skerritt stated.
In giving “good news” to the media, on Monday afternoon, head of the visiting IMF team visiting team, Alfred Shipke, informed that, the government has met all of the performance criteria including the overall fiscal deficit targets.
“Now this is quite remarkable because as we all know the global market has continued to be challenging and of course there are spin overs into the local economy as well but the reputable performance has been fully in line with our projections and the same thing for expenditure,” he stated.
The IMF official said it also demonstrates that the revenue measures that the government put in place more than a year ago are yielding significant results.
Skerritt expressed that the opposition saw such as an “unexpected endorsement” by the IMF.
That morning, the opposition held a live press conference at the Credit Union Conference Room, located at Bladen’s Development. And, according to Skerritt, “They prefer to go to the press conference than to do the people’s work.”
“I share in my disappointment of this behaviour of the opposition,” he said.