A constitutional amendment was among a pair of short items taken up by lawmakers as the House of Assembly brought its first session for 2020 to a close.
First, the Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson piloted a constitutional amendment to change the retirement age of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Auditor General from 62 to 67.
The measure was to bring these constitutionally protected key public officers in line with civil servants, whose retirement age was raised to 67 some two years ago, to qualify for National Insurance pensioners.
Hinkson added that the Constitution previously allowed for the DPP to make an arrangement with the Governor General to continue working for an additional three years, but no such provision was in place for the Auditor General. This provision remains in place, with the DPP now being able to remain in office till the age of 70 if he or she desires.
Earlier, MPs voted $544,000 to buy an ice machine for the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex. Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey said the ice machine was part of the ministry’s overall renovation work of three main fish markets, after ten years of “neglect” from the previous Democratic Labour Party administration.
He said: “We have taken the bold decision to buy brand new ice machines so the fisherfolk who ply their trade in Bridgetown can do so more effectively.
“You cannot sell a product like fish without ice. In the Estimates we have another ice machine for Oistins, and I am hoping to get two so that we can put one in Speightstown as well.
“The neglect of the fish markets is yet another example of what we spoke about today, in that if money that should be used for a particular purpose is going elsewhere, then it will not be available to take care of priority issues.”
He said his ministry would later be review the current fisheries legislation, and there was much more work to be done on the fish markets other than the projects completed thus far, such as new countertops at the Bridgetown and Oistins markets, and the cafeteria now being completed at the Bridgetown facility.