No state money used for NY trip – Harmon

The trip by several senior government officials to New York last weekend for an APNU+AFC victory rally was not paid for with state funds, according to Minister of State Joseph Harmon.

Responding to a question during his weekly post-cabinet press briefing yesterday, Harmon made it clear that it was the organizers of the event who bore the cost of the airfare and accommodation for the government delegation.

Harmon, Minister of Tourism, Cathy Hughes and Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman attended the event in Brooklyn on Sunday. Other senior government officials were also in attendance.

Questions were raised as to whether state money was used to finance the trip which was organized to celebrate the coalition’s win at the just concluded general and regional elections.

“Let me be very categorical about this the visit of ministers Raphael Trotman, Cathy Hughes and myself and the other officials who were there were paid for by the organizers of the event…. That is to say airline tickets, hotel accommodation, transportation on the ground.

Not a cent from the public purse was spent on that visit,” Harmon said.

Meanwhile, ask about the president’s sudden trip to the US also over the last weekend, Harmon said that it was a private trip.

He said that the President did not go to US for any medical reasons but rather on a private visit adding that all presidents have to take some time out to look after personal issues.

“The matters of state can consume you if you do not from time to time take some time out to look after some personal things. For example you might decide to have a change in your wardrobe, you might need to buy some fresh stuff…so the President is no different from any individual,” the Minister of State said.

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