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Nov 27, 2014

Senate Passes Loan Motion Despite Division of Votes

Joy Grant

Petrocaribe monies amount to hundreds of millions…access to a stream of money, seemingly without end. Money, in such large bulk, and who has access to that money, is bound to inspire great debates. It did in the Senate on Wednesday, with the politicians much more engaged than the social partners. That debate led to a division of votes, called by leader of government business Godwin Hulse.

 

Joy Grant, U.D.P. Senator

“There can be no doubt that the Petrocaribe funds are being sued to transform every part of this beautiful country of ours; the evidence is everywhere in the nine municipalities in this country. There are street works and drainage and the construction of all the facilities that my colleague from the church talked about; this is transformation of the country. Despite the ruckus made by the Opposition, there can be no comparison between the management, transparency and accountability of Petrocaribe funds under this agreement, unlike what happened before.  That is why Mister President, it was relatively easy for this government and this party, the U.D.P., to mobilize the thousands of people that were here on Tuesday, near if not more than ten thousand strong.”

 

Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator

“The party was celebrated, the drinks were drunk, the food such as it was, was eaten; people were transported back home with their goodies bag or not. And the only thing that we are left with Mister President is the cold sober light of day. We are at that period that most people fear and dread, dread when they are doing their weekly budget. End h month di come, no money noh deh; bruk pocket syndrome di hit hard. And you cannot tell me Mister President that one day belly full hooray over a loan motion will make up for the ramen noodles and Vienne sausage that people have to eat.”

 

Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Leader of Government Business

“Anyone, just like Senator Shoman said, anyone who votes against this motion today is saying that they do not want to agree and that they do not want to confirm that the government should use and continue to use this money at such concessionary rates to develop the country, to create jobs, to relieve the social hardships and to move this country forward. And I would like the Belizean people to know who those are.”

 

When all was said and done on the Petrocaribe Loan motion, it was passed in the margin of eight to four. Notably, the Senators representing the churches and the union voted for the motion.

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