PUP slams GOB over BTL settlement

Posted June 29th 2016, 8:31 p.m

By BBN Staff: The People’s United Party (PUP) issued a statement this evening and said it was appalled and deeply concerned by the final figures released by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on Tuesday with respect to Government’s acquisition of BTL.PUP big logo

The PUP said the figures were even worse than the party had expected.

“The Tribunal has ordered that Government must pay to Dunkeld almost 200 million dollars. GOB will also have to pay Sunshine Holdings Limited over 62 million dollars for its shares in BTL. In addition, GOB will have to pay interest on the value of shares appropriated since 2009, to the tune of an additional 198 million dollars. In short, the people of Belize, Belizean taxpayers will have to pay almost half a BILLION dollars,” the release stated.

The PUP said the ruling was as a result of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s arrogance.

“Within 10 days from June 28, Belizean taxpayers will have to pay almost $200M, with a balance of another $200M due within a year. Mr. Barrow now has no option but to pay. This is why he was so hell-bent on turning the SSB into a piggy-bank. But that is only $55M. To pay the balance within 10 days Mr. Barrow will be forced to drain our foreign reserves and to turn to the Central Bank to print money,” the btlPUP charged.

The party also criticized Barrow for placing blame on the PUP saying the UDP has been the government for eight years.

“In fact, the Prime Minister has personally signed his own accommodation agreements with these unprecedented settlements with the Ashcroft group of companies and trusts. Instead of relying on the outcome of the CCJ after it was already successful in the Court of Appeal, he chose to give away more than half a billion dollars,” the party said.

The party said Barrow didn’t need to appropriate BTL, and could have used the Public Utilities Commission to regulate the utility properly.

“Contrary to what the Prime Minister said, this is not a victory for the government and people of Belize. The Prime Minister MUST take blame for his actions, which will be an unbearable burden for Belizeans,” the party said.

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