ANGUILLA–A petition has been prepared and is in the public for signatures urging the governor not to sign the Goods and Services GST Act. It is addressed to Governor Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam and to Lord Ahmad. It refers to the passing of the bill on July 29 for the second and third readings and the voting procedure after the long discussions.
“We note that the speaker paid scant regard bordering on disrespect to the At Large Member Jose Vanterpool who sought a vote by division. We note further that the speaker was deciding instead that she was satisfied by the ‘loudness of the yays’ that the vote had carried. This is notwithstanding that she was also aware that two government ministers voted against the passage of the bill along with the five opposition members. It therefore meant that there were six votes of elected members who were against the bill and five votes of elected members who were in favour of the bill.”
The petition states that there has never been such an unprecedented move and direct assault on the democracy of the people when two ex officio members appointed by the British voted. “This full-frontal attack against our democratic process means that those six elected members representing the votes of over 8,000 Anguillians cast in the last general elections were nullified by the actions of two British appointees. This is untenable. It is outrageous. It is egregious. It is a serious and devastating incursion of the democracy of the people of Anguilla and we vehemently object to it. It must not be validated.
“We are hereby seeking that you stay your hand on the Assent of the legislation, as the people of Anguilla feel that your assent to this legislation is to give sanction to the flaws highlighted and leading to the passage of this legislation.” The petition requests time to gain signatures for the petition until August 6 to demonstrate the will of the people.
It ends by saying that if full consideration is given to the report of the Select Committee and other angles are explored that curtail expenditure debt obligations can be reached without the hardships projected by GST. “We already foresee and have expert advice that indicates that those hardships on our people will deepen to the point of questioning the survival of our people once there is full implementation of GST. We seek your commitment to honour this request of the people of Anguilla.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/petition-to-the-governor-and-overseas-territories-minister