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Proportional Budgetary Allocation in Belize

By Charles Leslie Jr.

10999255_10200419365724674_1508662683598015303_oWhen you divide the resources that have been harnessed thus far in Belize – natural, man-made and financial – there is very little equitable distribution.  Why? Greed and corruption.  There are plenty of resources in Belize to spread around equitably and empower the vast majority of Belizeans.

Let us look at violence.  There are two types of violence:

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  1. Behavioral violence – gun man shoots you;
  2. And structural violence – due to lack of proper maintenance, the hospital does not have a functional ambulance to come and get you, so you bleed out and die from your gunshot wound to the leg.

What is the leading cause of these two types of violence, especially behavioral violence? Deprivation.  What is the leading cause of deprivation?  Social imbalance and inequity, which have been dubbed by economists as structural violence.   Therefore, logic dictates that to reduce behavioral violence we would have to reduce deprivation.

A perfect example of the cause of deprivation which ultimately leads to behavioral violence and structural violence is the fact that we have a constitution that does not have proportional budgetary allocation enshrined in it.  The Minister of Finance, who happens to hold the office of the Prime Minister, has almost arbitrary powers over our consolidated funds; therefore when an Area Representative is elected that is of the opposition party, that constituency is intentionally starved of resources and this causes deprivation, which then lead to behavioral violence, and since our constitution is part of the control mechanism of our societal structure, we can conclude that the lack of proportional budgetary allocation also leads to structural violence.

I implore the unions, the business community, and all Belizeans to tell our Government to enshrine in our constitution, a law that would allow proportional budgetary allocation, which will give a guaranteed percentage of the Government’s annual budget to each constituency, regardless of which political party is in power.

Charles Leslie Jr.  is the Chairman of the Belize Unity Alliance and the former independent Chairman of Placencia Village (2010 – 2013). He holds an Associates degree in business, accounting and economics and has over 20 years business experience.

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