Dwyer: Gov’t Using Tax-Payers’ Money To Pay For Political Ads & Meetings

February 26, 2020 in National

“PAM and PLP are having political meetings over the next 6 to 8 Tuesdays, and you and I are paying for those meetings to be advertised and aired on nearly every radio station in St. Kitts.”

Those are the words of political and social activist former government minister Dwyer Astaphan. He is accusing the government of using taxpayers’ money to fund two of the coalition parties’ political events, which he says, is an abuse of office and the public purse.

Astaphan’s comments came Tuesday night while speaking on his popular weekly radio talk show the Operating Room.

“They say that these Tuesday night events are government consultation sessions with the public, but we know that they are nothing more than political meetings of Team Unity. The broadcasting of these town hall meetings are political meetings of politicians who are in search of reelection to power.

“Who do you think is paying for these political meetings that are being held over the next 6 to 8 weeks? Taxpayers dollars- both supporters of the administration, and non-supporters- are being used. Payment for the advertisement and for the broadcasting are being made out of the office of the Prime Minister, which, let me remind you, overspent last year by $83 million. One can only imagine how much the office of the Prime Minister will spend this year given that elections are pending.

“And whether you’re a supporter or non-supporter, if you have a conscience you must agree that it is wrong for any group of politicians to have a political meeting, a public rally, to promote themselves and to do so at the expense of the public purse.

“It is wrong, examined from any aspect or angle it is wrong! It is an abuse of office. They should pay for it out of their pockets or get one of their benefactors [to pay for it] …Do they have your permission to use your money to promote themselves and if you back them it’s ok for you but if the other side did it, it wouldn’t be ok? Wrong is wrong and right is right!

Astaphan, dubbed one of the architects of the coalition Team Unity, says Prime Minister Timothy Harris is purposely hosting these events on Tuesday evenings in an attempt to get listeners not to tune in to Astaphan’s show. He has described the Prime Minister as being thin skinned and not being able to take criticism of any sort.