Wednesday, January 24, 2018

...‘He should not be operating from constituency office’

Former St Joseph MP Herbert Volney ought not to be operating from the current constituency office, which has been paid for and maintained by the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago, according to a political source familiar with the St Joseph situation.

This is the result of the declaration by House Speaker Wade Mark that the St Joseph seat is now vacant.

Mark declared that Volney had resigned from the United National Congress, the party on whose ticket he fought the election, and “accordingly was required... to cease to perform his functions as a member of the House of Representatives with immediate effect”. 

The constituency office is chosen by the MP, but the rent is paid for by the Parliament.

The Parliament also allots to the MP approximately $35,000, from which he/she pays the constituency office’s utility bills—electricity, telephone, water and other related charges.

The salaries of people working in the office are paid from this allowance.

Parliament also provides office equipment such as a fax machine, chairs, desks and computers. The Parliament also maintains a sub-office.

Once the Speaker made the announcement, Volney lost all his benefits, political and financial.

However, it is understood that if Volney challenges the Speaker’s declaration of the vacancy in the court, and institutes legal action, during the period of the legal proceedings the staff in the St Joseph constituency office would continue to be paid and the office will be maintained.

The people working in the main office and the sub-office would  continue to receive their emoluments on a monthly basis.

But Volney ceased to receive any salary from the Parliament as of Monday, and would continue not to be paid during legal proceedings.