Belize: “The issue I have with this budget is that now is not the time for infrastructure. This is not what the people voted for. The people voted for a government that would be committed to their needs. And, it is all about policy. This budget represents bad policy. It represents mis-prioritization,” said Belize Lawmaker Shyne Barrow.
“Because, again, I empathize with the member from Toledo East, from Toledo West, from all of the rural areas that do need infrastructure. I am not saying that they don’t need it. But what the 120,000 people who are unemployed right now, or underemployed, need more than streets and roads is social assistance,” he added.
“I was pleased to hear the Member from Fort George talk about Social Infrastructure, Madam Speaker. But that is not reflected in this budget, Madam Speaker.
There’s a saying, “Men lie, women lie; numbers don’t.” And what these numbers reflect is, I quote, “best summed up as a kick-back budget not focused on people but on roads and roundabouts from which ministerial hustle can fill the pockets and pay for their excessive lifestyles.” That was the member from Orange Walk Central, the Honorable Prime Minister, when he sat here on this side as Leader of the Opposition and he was debating the budget, Madam Speaker.
This bogus budget is a cheap imitation, Madam Speaker. All of a sudden you have born again infrastructure visionaries. When the UDP, the true champions of infrastructure, were attempting to develop this nation, they (the PUP) all complained, Madam Speaker.
I would have liked to see those complaints come to fruition in action, because it was the Honorable Prime Minister who said that all of those contracts would be cancelled; they would get rid of all of those contracts. Now, we don’t see that course of action taking place now that they are in the position to do it; and again, not just to do it, but to do it because the country is in a crisis not caused by UDP, but caused by COVID-19.
It is dishonest for members on that side to sit in this Honorable House and lie to the people and pretend as if the economic crisis that we are in was caused by the previous administration. It is just not true, Madam Speaker. And it doesn’t matter how many times they say it, Madam Speaker, it will not make it true and the numbers prove what I am saying.
But regardless of why we are here, it doesn’t matter because the people voted for solutions. They know why we are here. Whether you blame the UDP or you accept that it is COVID-19, they trusted this government. They voted this government in to find solutions, not to tell us what the problem was.
Obviously the people of this country knew what the problem was, and in the November elections, and in the March elections, they decided that they wanted you, members on that side, to fix the problem. They wanted you to “recover stronger”, “beating COVID-19”. That was the presentation.
This PUP administration promised 30 Million Dollars in stimulus, Madam Speaker, to the Tourism Industry; 50 Million Dollars to the wider population, Madam Speaker. And that is nowhere in the budget, Madam Speaker.
If you go to the finance part of the budget, Madam Speaker, the 80 Million dollars that was spent on COVID-19 is gone, not budgeted, not even a million dollars budgeted for 2021-2022, because these people on that side, Madam Speaker, have the notion that if they tell the people it was all the UDP’s fault, that will somehow change the reality on the ground, which is a COVID-19 economic crisis that must be responded to with an investment in social infrastructure that the Member from Fort George spoke of.
Don’t comfort me with your words. Let me see it in the budget book, Madam Speaker. And we don’t see it in the budget book.” his statement read.
Views Expressing in the above article are not endorsed by Writeups 24 in any form. The above article is written and endorsed by hon ‘Shyne Barrow’ of Belize.