Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2020. 11:16 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: When no one got up quickly enough to begin this morning’s Budget Debate in the Senate on the second reading, a vote was called and passed before Opposition Senator Louis Zabaneh could get up to speak.
Nonetheless, Senate President Darrell Bradley allowed Senator Zabaneh to speak, which he did for about 20 minutes. At the end of the presentation, Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte rose to argue that unless the Standing Orders be suspended, the vote called by the President should stand and no further debate be held.
After some discussion the President decided to suspend the sitting to review the recording and make a final ruling.
Senator Zabaneh led off with a focus on the critical and disparate areas of education and trade.
Education routinely draws as much as a quarter of the total budget – this year, $279 million spread over the pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
But the performance indicators as expressed in the Budget, said Senator Zabaneh, are not up to par. There is less enrollment at primary level between 2018 and 2019 and the figure is not expected to rebound much at about 65 percent of the population. And secondary level is reported at just 52 percent.
In the area of trade, Sen. Zabaneh unveiled a hand-drawn graph outlining Belize’s ever-widening trade deficit and suggested that it was a result of the Government’s infrastructure push which required great numbers of imports of construction-related products, adding that the productive (agricultural) sector was only getting by with domestic sales to tourism concerns amid ever-reducing export sales, particularly sugar, citrus, marine products, bananas and petroleum.
Senator Zabaneh called for a more export-based open economy to balance tourism and manufacturing.
Аdvеrtіѕе wіth thе most visited news site in Веlіzе ~ Wе оffеr fullу сuѕtоmіzаblе аnd flехіblе dіgіtаl mаrkеtіng расkаgеѕ. Yоur соntеnt іѕ dеlіvеrеd іnѕtаntlу tо thоuѕаndѕ оf uѕеrѕ іn Веlіzе аnd аbrоаd! Соntасt uѕ аt firstname.lastname@example.org оr саll uѕ аt 501-601-0315.
© 2020, BreakingBelizeNews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.