Kaieteur News news item, Saturday 27 March 2010. Jagdeo insists his travel expenditure is minimal…says he worries for Guyana if AFC gains power.
March 27, 2010 | By KNews | Filed Under News
Head of State Bharrat Jagdeo is insisting that the annual cost of the travelling for the entire Government is on average $200M. He said that it is not accounted for at the Office of the President but rather with the Accountant General at the Ministry of Finance.
According to Jagdeo, there is one travel vote for the entire government.
The President also responded to Leader of the Alliance for Change, Raphael Trotman, who had told media operatives that the cost of the President’s overseas travel over the past 2 ½ years was nearing $1B.
“If the entire Government is $200M, I worry for this country if they (AFC) get into power…Mathematics is important.”
The President insists that his allowances are the same as a Minister or a regular staff or a Permanent Secretary.
He added that official visits such as his recent trip to Iran are paid for by the host country.
He said that as the issue of his trips was the source of queries, he would reluctantly let it be known that the one trip for the Leader of the Opposition, Robert Corbin, when he was medevaced to the US, “is equivalent to three years of my travel.”
The President added also that when he travels overseas he travels with the smallest delegation, namely his Aide de Camp, Ambassador Elizabeth Harper and the Foreign Affairs Minister, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett.
This is nothing like the previous administration where routine trips would see a delegation of some 15 persons.
Jagdeo said that when he travels overseas he does not use expensive hotels. “I could because am eligible.” And he has made this clear to his staff that they should not either.
Responding to comments on his travels by the political opposition, President Jagdeo, said that while he was reluctant to mention this fact, Opposition Leader Robert Corbin’s medical bill to an overseas medical facility cost enough money to cover his travel expenses for three years.