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MPs gear up for response to Budget

A long day for MPs lies in store at the House of Assembly today as the Progressive Labour Party delivers its Reply to the Budget.

David Burt, the Shadow Minister of Finance, will respond to last week's Budget statement delivered by finance minister Bob Richards.

Cole Simons, the One Bermuda Alliance whip, said that there was no legislation planned from the Government side, but that the debate could likely run into the small hours.

Absent from today's order of business is a private member's bill from Sylvan Richards, the Junior Minister for Home Affairs, calling for a referendum on same-sex marriage.

However, The Royal Gazette understands that the bill, which was unable to proceed for technical reasons in Parliament on February 12, is still being worked upon. Meanwhile, Michael Weeks of the PLP intends to bring a notice before the House calling for a referendum that would also ask the public to vote on the lawfulness of same-sex civil unions, to be included on the ballot at the next General Election.

Calling it an issue of national importance, Mr Weeks said it would probably be at least two sittings before his motion could be debated.

“I am trying to bring a bill that can ask the Government to proceed with this — since it is a money issue, the Opposition cannot bring a money bill,” Mr Weeks said.

“It is hopefully going to encourage the Government to eventually bring a referendum bill.

“There are certain things that we should take to the people.

“To me, it's nothing more than direct democracy when you get issues like this, so why not have a referendum? That's my argument. The people need to and should decide on this particular issue.”

Shadow Minister of Finance David Burt

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Published February 26, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated February 26, 2016 at 6:46 am)

MPs gear up for response to Budget

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