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Will GoB pay $90 million plus for guaranteeing UHS loan?

Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2018. 11:00 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The controversy surrounding a judgement against the Government of Belize for guaranteeing a loan for the Universal Health Service had quieted since January after a bill for 92 million dollars was tabled.

However, that bill was only tabled and no vote was ever taken to determine if the government should make the payment.

BBN understands that on Friday there will be a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives (HoR), during which a bill for $95 million dollars will be tabled.

This time a vote will be taken.

The three per cent increase in the new bill is attributed to a 17 percent interest rate accumulating on the judgement.

That judgement of over BZ $90 million was handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) last November.

The CCJ agreed with a 2013 ruling by a Tribunal of the London Court of International Arbitration, which was of the view that the 2004 loan guarantee to UHS by GoB was binding after the hospital could not meet payments to the Ashcroft owned, Belize Bank Limited.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his administration has refused to make payments and even secured support from Belize’s court.

However, in other courts, he was ordered to make payments.And so as this matter goes to the HoR on Friday it is expected that the United Democratic Party (UDP) representatives will vote against payment.

It is not yet known how the People’s United Party (PUP) representatives will vote.

If a no vote is secured, interest rates on the judgment will continue to balloon.

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