Property Tax a ‘done deal’

Standing Order 63 of the Senate, indicates that the Upper House cannot make amendments to a money bill which comes from the Lower House.

Rafeeq explained that amendments could only be made to the bill in the House and this was done when the Property Tax Bill was passed on Monday.

Mark said no matter what views Opposition and Independent senators express next Tuesday, “all of that will amount to a virtual waste.” “You could talk, rant, rave and misbehave. It will amount to zero, zip, nada,” he declared. Mark said while the Opposition will come fully prepared to debate the bill, this situation raises the question of the urgent need for constitutional reform.

He added that under the current system, neither the Constitution nor the Senate’s standing orders give the Opposition and Independent senators “the authority to back the Government into a corner” on such an important issue as property tax legislation. All six Opposition senators will vote against the bill.

Independent senator Professor Ramesh Deosaran said by presenting the legislation as a money bill, Government has diminished the power of the Senate to make any changes to it. “It will now be a matter of shaping public opinion in the right way,” he stated. Deosaran said he planned to debunk some of the propaganda that was in the public domain about the bill. Minister in the Ministry of Finance Mariano Browne said he was expecting full contributions from all senators on the legislation and does not expect that Diego Martin West MP Dr Keith Rowley’s criticisms of the bill would have any negative spillover effect in the Senate. “All the things that needed to be said, were said in the House.”


"Property Tax a ‘done deal’"

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