NDP asks Premier for free vote on Liberal Levy motion
NDP House Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi) has a Private Member’s Motion today in the House of Assembly and she’s calling on the premier to allow a free vote. If approved, the motion would immediately eliminate the levy, which has been the focal point for some of the most outraged protests of an unpopular budget.
There have been calls for government backbenchers to vote with their constituents and against the budget, which could bring down the government and spark another provincial election. Michael notes, however, that a Private Member’s Motion is not a confidence motion and that an opposition motion being accepted does not bring down the government. She cites the unanimous House adoption of St. John’s Centre MHA Gerry Rogers’s Private Member’s Motion to strike an all-party committee on mental health as a recent example.
“Members of the government side of the House have been expressing concerns about Budget 2016 both inside the House and out. One of the most unfair initiatives affecting people in every district is the debt reduction levy,” Michael said in Question Period today.
“I ask the Premier: will he allow a free vote of his members in the House today to end this unfair surtax?”
Receiving an unclear response from the Premier, Michael tried again.
“I ask the Premier, since the vote on a private member’s motion does not constitute a confidence vote and in the light of the general public outcry about the unfair levy why would he not allow his members to show their support for their constituents in a free vote?” she said.