Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2022. 11:14 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow has zeroed in on the recent capitalization of the Central Bank of Belize in his response to the 2022-23 General Revenue and Appropriation Bill, as an example of “misprioritizing” the nation’s funds instead of focusing on helping Belizeans.
Likewise, the Office of the Prime Minister’s budget is up to $24 million, with some earmarked for certain unnamed “organizations.”
That $20 million allocation, he said, could have been put to better use, for instance, at the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), to fund access to “the Belizean dream”, whatever it may be.
Over the jeers of the swelled Government ranks, Barrow said that the Budget represented a “betrayal” of the Belizean people and that it failed to address such needs as access to finance, education, health services, and reducing poverty.
Even if “not everyone can get,” Barrow said, there must be an effort to address the issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent Russian invasion of Ukraine which has driven prices up worldwide.
Other critical areas such as the Judiciary and Home Affairs, Barrow noted, have seen cuts – in the case of the latter by as much as $10 million – but costs of travel have gone up in almost every Ministry, he revealed.
Barrow charged that the Office of the Prime Minister is spending more on furniture than on the line for violence prevention. They can no longer blame the pandemic as things are supposedly going well, he said, so it is time to deliver. “This was a government in waiting that promised paradise when they got elected,” Barrow noted. “There was no on-the-job training; you knew what you were inheriting.” Rather than blaming the UDP and COVID-19 and maintaining the mentality of their time in Opposition, they should deliver on their promises, or suffer being a “one-term Government.”
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