Gordon-Pamplin ‘vindicated’ by Hansard
Shadow finance minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin revisited a bitter dispute in the House of Assembly, saying the official recording had vindicated her after being accused of maligning low earners during a March sitting.
In a March 16 debate on the Payroll Tax Amendment Act 2020, in which workers earning $48,000 and below had their taxes cut from 4 per cent to 2 per cent, Ms Gordon-Pamplin was accused by government MPs of calling them “at the bottom of the earth”.
The charge came from Progressive Labour Party MP Jason Hayward, and was backed by Lawrence Scott, the Government Whip.
During the motion to adjourn on Friday, Ms Gordon-Pamplin used the Hansard record to tell the House that she had been referring to relief for “people on the lower end of the earning spectrum”.
Mr Hayward had objected in the March sitting, telling Dennis Lister, the Speaker of the House: “How dare a Member consider people who are low-paid in this country at the bottom of the earth?”
Mr Lister told him to “keep in mind that it may have been a misinterpretation of what you heard” — but Mr Scott told the House: “Back here, Mr Speaker, we heard ‘earth'.”
On Friday, an emotional Ms Gordon-Pamplin said that normally when she took personal criticism she did not care, but three government MPs had levelled the accusation.
It was unclear from Hansard who was the third.
She told Mr Lister: “If ever I believe I have misspoken, I am the first to correct it. If ever I have offended someone, I am the first to apologise because our purpose here is bigger than what people can say to try and criticise and denigrate individuals.”
She said it would be “remiss” of her not to point out that the record had “vindicated” her position during the debate.
Ms Pamplin-Gordon later apologised for having referred to Mr Hayward in that same March 16 sitting as a liar.
Mr Hayward declined to comment on the matter when contacted yesterday.