The Prime Minister’s New Year’s message outlined a number of proposed Government guided initiatives, projected to get underway in 2014. Noteworthy, is a reform agenda, intended to improve the mandate of the current administration and to provide for better transparency. Just as important, are plans to outfit national security. Here is Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, with a rundown of these projects, which he promises will lend to a year of historic milestones for the country of Belize.
‘These two, Belizeans will agree, are banner proclamations behind which to march into a year of what I truly believe, will be historic milestones for our country. We will also therefore, consolidate the national security gains in terms of both territorial protection and citizen safety and we will press again with the reform agenda by reconstituting the Public Accounts Committee, remedy omissions such as the failure to appoint the Integrity Commission and by revamping government’s procurements and financial management policies”.
The Government has also pledged to foot the cost of CXC examinations for students who intend to undertake a requisite number of subjects.
Hon. Dean Barrow: “I announce another achievement in casting ever wider, the net of government funded education, so as to provide universality of access at the primary, secondary and six form levels. This administration will, starting in 2014, pay the cost for students sitting CXC exams up to the maximum of 6 subjects. the students would come from all high schools and all ITVEts and will be included on every basis of qualifying and of need”.
These elements, tagged with the goal of granting teachers and public officers a salary adjustment, infrastructure works, the rollout of NHI services to the north of the country, reduced electricity rates and added features at the National Bank of Belize, have painted a positive outlook for 2014. There is one factor in 2013, however, that citizens are hoping will trickle over to this year and that is a lesser amount of criminal activities. The PM reminisced on this feat and the efforts which brought about a significant decline in crime and violence.
Hon. Dean Barrow: “Crime and violence were contained and the murder rate dropped dramatically. This came after five years of tough sledding constant slugging and it no doubt, it had a lot to do as the security forces readily acknowledged, with government’s employment’s creation in jobs. The goth of jobs came principally as a result of this administration’s vaunted infrastructure drive. It is a drive that saw rapid acceleration in the last three months of the year. With the start of the Lake Independence Boulevard and the Civic Center Projects in Belize City and countrywide work on the streets, drains and roadways in villages and towns”.