Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo is not too bothered about the price to be paid for food at each sitting of the National Assembly. His greater concern is the money that is spent to procure huge quantities of expensive alcohol for Members of Parliament (MPs) to enjoy during sittings.
A recent report in print media highlighted the dietary bills being racked up by MPs. The food bill per sitting of the National Assembly is estimated to be $700,000.
Today, Jagdeo suggested that the cost for alcohol might be just as much as the cost for food.
He said, “It’s not just food. It’s a huge amount of alcohol that gets consumed and imbibed in the Parliament… fancy, fancy liquor.
Jagdeo said he does not consume alcohol during sittings, but utilizes the food made available.
The former President, in defending his Opposition colleagues, said that these members too, do not imbibe alcohol but they eat the food being offered – which he stressed, is not fancy.
“They do eat. We eat. I eat the food. What do you suggest? I don’t go and eat the food? I eat the food but I don’t drink the liquor,” I like eating too and it’s not like its fancy food. It’s not fancy food but it’s the alcohol part that I have a problem with.” the Opposition Leader said.
Jagdeo suggested that systems be put in place to allow MPs to purchase alcohol if they desire to have a drink when they meet for Sittings.
The Parliamentary food bill aside, Jagdeo said that the dietary expenditure has amplified under the coalition administration “significantly” over the past three years.
There have been 96 sittings in the first three years of the 11th Parliament .This translates to an approximate $67M on food. This does not include committee meetings.