(Neil Marks photo)
“No I never did…No, no, no… No, no, no….Never….Never did, Never did, Never did,” is how former President Bharrat Jagdeo responded when asked if he had ever claimed for air tickets for a mystery spouse as part of his benefits.
Jagdeo was speaking at a budget bashing press conference this afternoon where he said children in a supermarket operate better than those running the country and the Skeldon factory was kind of Janet Jagan’s idea. Journalist Neil Marks interrupted his flow to ask him, “I don’t know if I’m making a discovery here, but do you have a spouse? because i’m interested in spending. Last year I think you claimed US$37,000 for you and a spouse travelling to the US?”
On July 9 Finance Minister Winston Jordan informed the National Assembly when it was passing amendments slashing benefits to former presidents that “A certain former President also booked a First Class ticket for two, worth $7.4 million, even though he refused to acknowledge his spouse…..In this case it seems as if you don’t even have to have a spouse, you can still claim two tickets …”