By Aaron Humes: The Opposition People’s United Party is returning to court to resurrect a matter the governing United Democratic Party believes is dead.
At a meeting of the House of Representatives at the end of June, the Government passed supplementary budget allocations totaling 100 million dollars from 2013.
In his oral judgment of January 31, 2020, former Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin found that the Prime Minister, as Minister of Finance, and the Financial Secretary violated the Constitution when they spent public funds without first getting parliamentary approval. The total is approximately $1.5 billion in the last 15 years.
While that is what he said in court, Benjamin never delivered his formal judgment in writing, and now being retired the government says the orders he made are of no effect.
The PUP leader John Briceno and area representative Julius Espat have filed a claim in the Supreme Court asking for an injunction to stop the government from making any supplementary budgetary allocations without prior approval of the National Assembly. These are usually done in the form of warrants for emergency spending. A date for a hearing has not yet been set.