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Opposition complains about Taiwan funds and ‘hypocrisy’

Posted: Friday, July 15, 2022. 12:00 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The House of Representatives is to approve $150 million in financial support from the Republic of China (Taiwan) at today’s House sitting.

This is the offer from the Export-Import Bank of the Republic as part of the four-year bilateral cooperation program approved by successive administrations and currently slated to run until 2025.

But Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow wants to know: “What does this government need $150 million for 3 months into the new fiscal year?”

He continues: “There is no project attached to this loan which is a gateway to corruption, cronyism, and campaign financing!”

And he claims, “The PUP promised to stop borrowing but instead have borrowed close to $400 million since taking office less than 2 years ago with loan motion after loan motion after loan motion saddling the taxpayers with unsustainable public debt! Our great, great, great-grandchildren will be paying off these PUP loans with nothing to show! A visionless, public policy bankrupt, corrupt PUP government that will borrow and borrow our people to debt for generations to come!”

In introducing the motion, the Prime Minister referred to his Budget Debate presentation in which he made note of the monies, and stated that negotiations were in train at that time. US$42 million (BZ$84 million) will be used for budgetary support in the current fiscal year.

But the Leader of the Opposition suggested that while Taiwan’s support is always welcome, the current Government has little to show for its borrowing and ought to apologize for hypocritically challenging the previous administration’s borrowing and spending tendencies.

In his first remarks, Patrick Faber backed the Opposition’s concerns, reminding of the Venezuela-Taiwan housing affair and how the UDP clawed it back for use in housing projects in divisions under the control of both parties. He further questioned the need for supplementaries to the established budget once monies are already budgeted in the General Revenue and Appropriation Act and with taxes seemingly lucrative.

The Republic, he suggested, should be “watchdogs” to ensure no further skulduggery with the national finances.

 

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