The prime minister has issued a stern reminder to potential heads of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) that they do not own the unit and that the programme is led by a “ministerial” mandate.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne made comments slamming “a gentleman” brought in to run the programme, telling parliamentarians, on Thursday, “all of a sudden he decided that he doesn’t want to report to anybody. That he must not report to the Cabinet; he must not report to the minister; he must have the CIU by himself. I had to remind him that we operate in the form of ministerial government, enshrined in the Constitution.”
Browne, who sounded irate, alleged that the individual did not want the government to take any money from the programme but instead be given money annually from the CIU head.
“His position is we should not take the money every month, we should allow them to hoard whatever amount of money they have and at the end of the year, they give us a cheque of whatever they feel like,” he attempted to explain.
Such a request, Browne said, was out of the question since there’s a monthly standing order of three million dollars that comes from the CIU to pay pensioners. “That is why we have never been late in the payment of pensioners,” he told the Upper House.
More in today’s Daily Observer.