Opposition Leader gets $32.5 million as funding for constitutional bodies approved


The Parliamentary Committee of Supply approved the budgetary allocations for local constitutional bodies and included in those funds is a $32.5 million allocation for the Office of the Leader of the Opposition.

These funds were approved on Tuesday as Parliamentarians began the Consideration of Estimates for the 2024 National Budget.

None of the allocated sums were changed.

The Parliament Office received $2.2 billion overall and according to Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira, the Office of the Leader of the Opposition falls under this body.

And in response to questions from Opposition Parliamentarian Ganesh Mahipaul, she explained that the Opposition Leader’s Office got an increased budgetary allocation this year largely catering for the 6.5% public sector salary increase approved last year by the government.

In 2023, the Opposition Leader’s Office got $28 million.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was allocated $3.5 billion, which was not an increased allocation this year. As such, the minister was quizzed about that situation.

“They feel they do not need that volume of money in 2024 as there are no election (this year),” she explained.

Further pressed on why wages and salaries went from $1.6 million to $1.79 million if the Commission isn’t catering for any elections, Minister Teixeira said the larger sum caters for the 6.5% salary increase.

She also pointed out that there is no allocation for the procurement of biometric equipment since the Commission has made no decision on whether it will use biometrics- be it fingerprint scanning or otherwise- in local elections as yet.

Meanwhile, the funds for the other bodies were approved. The Audit Office got $1.3 billion; the Public and Police Service Commission got $1202 million; and the Teacher Service Commission, $184 million.

Further, the Supreme Court of the Judicature got $4.6 billion; Public Prosecutions, $420 million; the Office of the Ombudsman, $67 million; the Public Service Appellate Tribunal, $68 million; the Ethnic Relations Commission, $238 million; the Judicial Service Commission, $17 million; the Rights Commissions of Guyana, $17 million; and the Public Procurement Commission, $270 million.

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