Posted: Wednesday, March 22, 2023. 10:17 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Whether in health, citizen security, food security, land and housing, jobs or investment, the proposed Budget before the House of Representatives has no solutions, according to Opposition Leader Moses “Shyne” Barrow.
Turning back a frequently-used sobriquet of his father former Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the younger Barrow described Prime Minister John Briceno as “the same thing – the only thing is he has zero substance and not enough oratorical skills to even make a presentation of glitter.”
And who feels it knows, he added: “The cry, the wailing and moaning, is to bring back the UDP – life was better under the UDP! Bring back the food pantry, bring back the agro-productive sector subsidies that have been cut under this government.”
As to unemployment, because of a change in the way the rate is calculated, the 5 percent measured in the last Labour Force Survey is equivalent to the reported “4.5 percent” the UDP recorded in 2019, he said.
And even when he is trying to be fair and find something to support in the Budget, there is an increase for education, but nothing to tackle inflation on a year-to-year basis.
So, Barrow said, “No fifty thousand jobs, no ten thousand houses, write that off, Belizean people write that off, it is not going to happen under this administration. No investment-friendly climate, just drunken arrogance to Waterloo, and Vulcan, and Stake Bank and people that want to come and create employment. Madam Speaker, but I can assure the Belizean people that as Prime Minister I will find solutions.”
And the reason for that lies with the Prime Minister, not with those under him, he continued: “If you look at the Briceño Administration’s medium-term fiscal plan as outlined in his budget speech, while some of the CEOs have, I must concede, have demonstrated a willingness to accept the shortcomings of their respective ministries, they have accepted that. They have even said it at the medium-term strategy sessions I have attended and I have seen they want to work towards improvement Madam Speaker, but the Prime Minister in his trademark arrogance, Barrowgance, you guys have redefined the term, in his bregin posture, refuse to accept his government has done nothing in the last two years four months Madam Speaker, economic transformation – failed, poverty reduction – failed.”
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