Energy Minister Stuart Young has found it “ironic” that Opposition MP, Roodal Moonilal has called for the cessation of luxury vehicle purchases.
At a UNC virtual meeting on Monday, Moonilal called for a moratorium on the purchase of vehicles by ministers, after it was revealed that Young and Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh used the facility to import high-end luxury vehicles recently.
However Young said, “It is hypocritical of him (Moonilal), he is calling my name, so I am allowed to respond. The identical vehicle is what he drives, he is driving the identical vehicle and I asked where does he get the money to afford these things,” Young said in reference to his purchase of a Mercedes Benz GLE 450.
“As far as I know, I don’t know what work he does, what he does professionally since he left office in 2015.”
Young added, he “had something” on order last year, well before the elections and he took a decision to cancel the order until “things looked up this year.”
He said that it was not just politicians who were exempt but certain levels of public service and judges who also got similar breaks.
Young said this issue rears its head ever so often, “it is something that we are aware of but we are not detained by it,” he said.
He pointed out that a proposed cap on tax breaks for vehicles purchased by Government Ministers is still before the Cabinet sub-committee.
Young said he was committed to the service to the country and worked “24/7.”
“We cannot be faulted for that and sometimes, depending on the context you put on things, you can spin it a certain way and I certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone and I make no apologies for it,” he said.