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Senate begins debate of loan motions

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Posted: Wednesday, July 1, 2020. 11:14 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: While acknowledging that Belize has been more fortunate than other nations so far in battling COVID-19, members of the social partners and Opposition leveled criticism at the Government seemingly trying to borrow and litigate its way out of trouble, while riding the gravy train of tourism which has now crashed.

Representing non-governmental organizations, Osmany Salas questioned again where the economic recovery plan by Government is and mentioned efforts to gather proposals among its members.

The P.U.P.’s Dr. Luis Zabaneh said Belize had fallen behind others in our region despite our particular benefits and that the Opposition was doing its part to bring awareness of these issues public. He said the country had failed to fulfill this promise.

Business Senator Mark Lizarraga pointed out that he foresaw the twin needs of addressing crime and health during the debate of the Budget earlier this year, when COVID-19 was but a blip on the radar. Always a champion of fiscal prudence and responsibility, he pointed out that some clarity is needed as to the CDB motion’s purpose, for health, social recovery and so on, and that not only is our current position unsustainable, but that we expect coming generations to have to pay back.

Lizarraga asked for ideas on how to revive businesses, especially small, micro and medium so that we can start to repay these loans, even as he acknowledged that borrowing is more necessary now than ever, and how we will be more prudent in savings. He cited Transparency International calls for continued vigilance as to activities in this time.

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