National Budget Debate Continued on Day Two

Day two of the budget debate was held today at the National Assembly Building. Speakers on both sides of the house continued arguments for and  against the Proposed Budget for 2014/2015. We’ll take a look at some of those arguments.

vlcsnap-2014-03-25-18h45m32s85Hon. Wilfred Elrington- Attorney General and Area Representative for Pickstock

 “The question about corruption I want to raise because it doesn’t have to do with the budget.  The less corruption you have, the more money you will have to  spend because the money goes to the government and to the people.  Look at the Prime Minister how he hears about that.   He hears about it, he fires you!  Prime Minister can’t do more than that.  You are in the cabinet and you are guilty of corruption and he feels that you are guilty of corruption, he takes you out of the cabinet; he can’t do anything more than that.  Contrast to the behaviour on the other side, you hear about those secret deals when the member inside turned on the leadership.  Do you remember the period between 2008 and 1998?  G-7, just about the rightist and most promising set of politicians you had for a long time, they could not stand the corruption, that they revolted.  You call that changed things?  It didn’t change things.  It took the people to move them from the government.  Will the leper change their spots?  Do we have opportunist vying for another attempt at a grab tub or do we have leaders who really want to help the people?”

vlcsnap-2014-03-25-19h07m56s81Hon. Ramiro Ramirez- Area Representative for Corozal South West

“My speech on the 13th July 2012, I asked for a police station in Libertad.  Nothing is done.  A road from Libertad to Buena Vista; nothing is done, a water reservoir for Concepcion: nothing is done, San Victor road, thanks to te cane farmers, a company measure for sugar, the road done start already, but than you to the cane farmers.  Again, in Louisville, nothing is done, Electricity in San Narciso and San Roman, nothing is done, a community center for Santa Clara nothing is done.  Three years from now, three budgets, this books that talks about millions, nothing for South West, copy and pest!”

vlcsnap-2014-03-25-19h19m36s172Hon. Mark King- Area Representative for Independence

“Do you know what Mr. Speaker? This budget is so amazing that I can call it magical.  You know the former Prime Minister and now the former leader a wah callah, the member from Fort George over there, made a mock of this budget, he couldn’t even speak on the budget.  He came here referring to humpty dumpty.  Mr. Speaker, do you know why he can come here forgetting about the budget and remembering humpty dumpty?  Because it was him who led the People’s United Party to a great fall.  Mr. Speaker, they are right; everybody knows that little saying, but after a great fall everybody know what will come: they won’t be able to put it back together again.  Mr. Speaker, the leader of the opposition, oh my goodness!  They have had so many leader that leads them down a road, Mr. Speaker. I have to address this:  he spoke about man pan dih street dih bruk stone.  Well, my goodness Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that in Lake independence man no dih play fuh bruk stone”.

vlcsnap-2014-03-25-20h42m20s148Hon. Rodwell Stephen Ferguson-Area Representative for Stann Creek West

“Mr. Speaker, yes as echoed by the former Prime Minister of this country, was also echoed by the Foreign Minister this morning, that for the first time in our history, we are looking at a $1b budget.  That is a lot of money and we should not take that lightly because it is not only a billion dollars, but a billion dollars being spent.  The question is, are we spending where this be allocated in the manner in which it can best have that impact for the benefit and development of our people?  This budget is not only about the UDP government; this budget is not about the PUP.  This budget ought to be about the development of this country.  As my third presentation since elections in 2012, I am reminded of the fact that this government is not serious because if this government were serious about development and I want my presentation to be about the development of this country.  That dialogue or consultation across this aisle would have been something to be practiced, even though the Prime Minister said that that consultation would have been consulted with us.  The people of Belize needs to know that such consultation never happened, I have never been called and I believe that for the rest of my colleagues also”.

As is customary, the Prime Minister gets the last word at the budget debate. Up to our news time, the debate was still ongoing.

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