The unions are questioning the rental of the Vista Plaza Building on the Phillip Goldson highway as a government office space, for $7,000 dollars a month or $84,000 annually. Our sources say that Vista has already been paid four months rent.
Surely, government does need more office space, but this one has drawn scrutiny not only for the price, but also because the owner of the building, Haisam Diab, is a long time supporter and close associate of the Prime Minister.
In fact, for years - when he was leader of the opposition - John Briceno's office was at the Charter House building - also owned by Diab.
And now the scrutiny is on Vista Plaza, where, unconfirmed reports suggest, the Prime Minister may have an office.
APSSM president Sharon Frazer pointed out that the government is paying thousands of dollars in rent while the Laing building, which is free, sits unused.
Sharon Frazer, President, APSSM
"How can I say yes when in fact there is a contract I see paying $84,000 a year for 2 suites in a building on the highway, how can I say yes to 10%. What is the need for that when there is a lovely lane building 3 storeys that have an elevator in it by the sea, then I am hearing although I can't confirm it that the entire floor 3rd floor of the social security building will be hired by government to house the additional persons that the ministry of finance of the office of the prime minister will be put in there. How can I say to 10%? When in fact that is there."
You can hear more on all that and the budget standoff tonight at 8:00 on Channel 7 on Uncut when Jules Vasquez will speak with the key players from the government and the unions.