The People’s United Party has come out sharply against the Government decision to grant more than $800,000 of national funds to its area representatives to support mothers in their constituency.
It is perhaps expected since the PUP’s didn’t get any. But the sole woman in the House of Representatives, Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, said today at Independence Hall that it is about more than that.
Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia- Area Representative for Belize Rural Central
“Let us be clear, ladies and gentlemen, people of Belize: our disapprobation of this latest blatantly political move is not a matter of sour grapes, since, as Belizeans, we all respect and celebrate our mothers. My own mother is about to enter her 98th year in August and we still celebrate her as our icon and our hero. What we disapprove of in the strongest terms is the use of the people’s money or taxpayers’ money to fund gifts and parties in connection to Mother’s Day in a way that is partisan, patronizing and politically. Such a move is just plain wrong”.
Hon. Balderamos Garcia called on other members of civil society to condemn what she called the irresponsible misuse of taxpayers’ funds to curry political favor and added that it showed the desperation of a Government about to fall. Typical political rhetoric, but whether it will rally the majority is anyone’s guess.
But PUP Leader Francis Fonseca took the opportunity to reiterate that the next PUP Government, whenever that comes, intends to do things differently.
“My pledge to the people of this country as a leader of the People’s United Party in 2014 is that when we become the government of Belize, it will not be business as usual; there will be accountability and we will make sure that when we use public funds, that we do so in a transparent and equitable way. That is our solemn commitment to the people of this country”.
Fonseca earlier insisted that any similar PUP programs were done more equitably and justly than those of the UDP, condemning as “propaganda” suggestions that because the PUP did it, the UDP can too. In any event, he pointed out they have not been doing it better.
Hon. Francis Fonseca: “The point is that as many have said (because that is the UDP propaganda; that is their line. It was done by the People’s United Party, so we can do it as well) As I recall, that was not the mandate given to Mr. Barrow in 2008. As I recall, he came into office with your support saying to the Belizean people that he would blaze a new trail, that he would do things differently; that he would be an accountable leader. We are here to place on the record that under the United Democratic Party, the corruption and abuse of public funds has become institutionalized”.