Buy your own liquor! – Jagdeo to MPs
…says this may reduce Parliament’s food billAmid concerns that the food bill for one Parliament sitting is costing taxpayers too much, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is suggesting that free alcoholic beverages should no longer be served.He made this statement at his weekly press conference held at his Church Street, Georgetown office when asked to comment on the large spending on food at Parliament.“It’s not just food. It’s a huge amount of alcohol that gets consumed and imbibed in the Parliament … fancy, fancy liquor,” he said, explaining that this comes at the expense of taxpayers.Jagdeo made it clear that he is not opposed to having food served to legislators, but he believes that alcohol should not be an option nor should it be on the menu at Parliament.He claimed that Opposition parliamentarians also did not indulge in consuming the alcohol but did eat the food.“They do eat. We eat. I eat the food. What do you suggest? I don’t go and eat the food? … I eat the food, but I don’t drink the liquor,” the Opposition Leader said.He has recommended that parliamentarians buy their own alcohol if they wish to drink when they meet for sittings of the National Assembly.“We should buy our own alcohol in Parliament. Put a canteen there and let somebody sell it and if an MP wants, let them do that, but not to have taxpayers pay for our drinking bills. Buy your own liquor!”Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs recently disclosed that $700,000 was spent for each sitting of Parliament. If committee meetings are to be included, it means almost $80 million would have been spent in the last three years alone overall on food.But besides the high food bill, Jagdeo, a former President, argued that the dietary expenditure has increased tremendously under the coalition administration.