Limited time in Parliament

There will be no more unlimited talk in Parliament when Bills are presented.

The New National Party led administration succeeded in passing in the House of Representatives a Motion to lessen on the length of time a Member of Parliament can speak on a Bill.

The changes no longer give members of the house unlimited speaking time on a Bill during regular sittings of the House of Parliament.

The Bill now restricts the presenter of the bill and the individual concluding the debate on a Bill to 30 minutes.

Both speakers would be allowed five minutes extra at the discretion of the Speaker.

“The member introducing the bill shall speak for no more than 30 minutes, and any other member who shall speak on the bill shall speak for a maximum of 15 minutes; the member concluding the debate shall be allowed no more than 30 minutes. In each case the Speaker may allow an additional 5 minutes at his discretion”, the amendment read.

The changes to the regulation was decided by members of the Standing Orders Committee – Chairperson, Elvin Nimrod, Gregory Bowen and Tobias Clement during a meeting of the Committee earlier this month.

The members of the Committee believe that the amendment to the existing rule “is necessary to further regulate the procedure of the House of Representatives”.

The NNP controls all 15 sitting MP’s in the house.

Leader of Government Business, Gregory Bowen who tabled the Motion for the Amendment of the Standing Orders said that this move would enable the Speaker who presents the bill adequate time to address pertinent issues relating directly to the bill and prevent repetitiveness by speakers.

The amendments do not relate to time allotted to Parliamentarians during debate on Budget presentations.


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