The Budget Debate is scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday and the People’s United Party is getting ready with a series of consultations with key sectors of society. They met today with civil society, churches and Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and yesterday with the trade unions and Chamber of Commerce. PUP leader Francis Fonseca spoke about the importance of these consultations.
Hon. Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition
“It is an absolutely valid critcism, I raise it every year during the budget debate, I point out that there is no consultation taking place by the government on this budget where it is setting out the plan, the vision for the country for that fiscal year, and you would think that any responsible government would engage in meaningful consultations and dialogue with the various stakeholders in our society. But that has not happened under this UDP government, but we have been doing it…we have been doing it for the past three years; we have consulted each year with the business community, with the unions, with the church groups, with organizations like COLA, with Youth Student Governments with the belief that this is critically important”.
According to Fonseca, issues of foreign direct investment and the Government’s plans to improve a flagging economy took center stage.
Hon. Francis Fonseca: “Absolutely. We hear that from every sector, form the business community who live that reality every day, from the Unions, the worker of our country, from the churches and the social organizations as well. Yes. Everybody is concerned that the economy is not growing, that we are stagnant, that there is no real growth, that there is no direct investment. In fact, the budget reported that foreign direct investment fell with the lowest level in 2013 for the past six years under this UDP government. So, we are very concerned about the path the country is following, about that there are no new investments in Belize, no new economic opportunities, no new initiatives for young people, for women, for…you know this plan for making jobs under this UDP government is breaking rocks on the street”.
The PUP has been holding consultations like these for several years now.