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December 12, 2020
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December 12, 2020

Government scrambles for COVID-19 funds for Health Ministry 

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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2020. 1:51 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Ministry of Health and Wellness has committed to spending $15 million on the COVID-19 fight over the next six months, including ramped-up testing, supplies to affected individuals and families, and more for frontline workers. 

But where is the money coming from? 

Prime Minister John Briceño says they will go to the House next week in the first working session to pass a supplementary appropriation: “On Friday at our first working session, we are going to present two supplementary budgets. One for what has been spent and some illegally as according to the Supreme Court. Secondly, we are going to present a new supplementary budget that will take us from now until the end of the year.” 

The Supreme Court reference is to January’s oral judgment of then-Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin that made such allocations illegal and required Government to change the laws to get them in line, but he never reduced it to writing. 

But the funds will come by and large from reallocated resources as well as newly borrowed money. Briceño stated, “…when we borrow we have to ensure that we borrow for the things that are absolutely necessary.”

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