The MP for Castries South has blamed “unreasonableness” on the side of the government for the abrupt end to Tuesday’s budget debate.
Dr Ernest Hilaire explained that conventionally, both the government and the opposition would come to an agreement on the order of speakers in the House.
On that occasion an agreement, he said, could not be reached because the government refused to compromise.
As he explained, the government wanted all Opposition MPs to speak in in a row with government MP’s making their contributions afterwards to end the debate.
Hilaire says the Labour Party thought that to be an unreasonable approach.
“There’s eleven government parliamentarians, there’s six Opposition. All six of us cannot speak first. It doesn’t happen that way.”
“They felt we should speak and they will speak to close off the debate and we said no,” he added.
He added that substantial Ministries, such as Infrastructure, Youth and Sports had not spoken before the debate was brought to a close.”
“For the Prime Minister to say to the nation that my Ministers do not need to speak… your ministers need to speak.”
He went on to say that, “to suggest that your ministers do not have to be accountable to the people of St Lucia is really offensive to St Lucians.”
Hillaire also criticized the decision to postpone debate on the budget for “forty days and forty nights.”