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Budget rounds out with debate on number of issues

Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2018. 3:39 pm CST.

By BBN Staff:  Day two of the Budget debate for fiscal year 2018/2019 rounded out yesterday with debate on a number of issues including education, health, finance and the agricultural industry.

Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington kicked off day two of the debate endorsing the government’s new budget and, like much of the rest of the day’s proceedings, chastised the opposition on matters not related to the budget. Elrington chastised the PUP, and in particular the member for Fort George, Said Musa, calling him the worst education minister in the country’s history and suggesting that the PUP, during their last term in government, was against supporting free education.

Opposition leader, John Briceno, rejected the notion and called out Elrington for his comments especially in Musa’s absence from the debate at that time. Opposition members Julius Espat and Kareem Musa also called out the budget for not doing enough to address poverty or encourage innovation and new businesses. Musa even coined the term “Barrow-gant” in describing the budget.

There was also the usual and expected political back and forth blame game. There was also an exchange between the representative for Mesopotamia, Michael Finnegan and the Speaker of the House, in which Finnegan told the speaker, “When you throw lick and man lick you back, you must know how to take you lick.”

PUP Orange Walk South area representative also called out the budget for not doing enough to boost the productive sector, citing the 100 shrimp farm workers who were laid off yesterday. The debate raged on until after 10:00 p.m. on Friday.

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