Advisor to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan has dismissed a charge from Opposition Leader Lennox Linton of a discrepancy in government’s reporting of passport funds, as dishonest and malicious.
Linton told the parliament in his budget response on Wednesday that Government has failed to account for a significant chunk of monies earned from the sale of Dominican passports.
Astaphan says Linton’s assessment is dishonest as Government’s cut is only the fees collected on passport applications.
According to Astaphan no one successful applicant pays $50, 000. Linton’s calculations, he says, are false and deceptive.
“These are monies held on trust in accounts by Senior Public Officers, to be invested directly in the projects,” he said.
According to Astaphan, a single applicant pays $25,000 US in fees while a married couple pays $35,000. A family of four, comprising a main applicant and three dependents can also pay $35,000 in fees.
$50,000 covers a family of six while $70,000 covers a family of 7 applicants or more.
“You will realize immediately that no one person pays $50,000 per applicant,” Astaphan stressed. He said the opposition’s report was “deliberately and intentionally dishonest, to give the impression that every single applicant… was required to pay $50,000 US dollars each”.