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Opposition Leader “not impressed” at the return to “pre-COVID levels” in economic growth

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2023. 3:45 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Closing in on three years in power, Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow says, the People’s United Party (PUP) still seems traumatized from their time out of power which coincided with the Dean Barrow administration.

So while big numbers were thrown about at today’s Budget presentation, Barrow says he will be more impressed if the Government can build on what it has already done, and put its achievements in their proper context: “We are talking about growth from COVID – that always is omitted. 2020 was the worst year ever for Belize because of COVID-19, not because of the UDP administration. So, the growth is inflated…Turnaround from minus-100 to 1 is not necessarily anything to claim is remarkable. Turnaround from where it was during COVID to where it was pre-COVID is nothing to brag about…”

Barrow added that he would like to see a plan to address inflation – even something as simple as a dedicated unit to taking complaints on price gouging. He also expressed skepticism as to the value of National Health Insurance (NHI) in Orange Walk given the chronic shortages reported elsewhere and planned support of the free education program as he claimed students of the schools participating in the program are still coming to him to cover costs of attending these schools.

Barrow has spoken of providing an “alternative” Budget but he indicated that for now they continue their review of the Government’s plans and offer suggestions for improvement.

 

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