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Mar 27, 2015

PM Lashes out at Julius Espat

Dean Barrow

The Prime Minister reserved a special dose of vitriol for Public Accounts Committee Chairman, Julius Espat. Espat on Wednesday said that the Bill, if passed, would in effect allow the Prime Minister to write a one million dollar check to his family. That got the PM’s attention in a hurry, and it was clear he wasn’t impressed with Espat’s assertion.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I won’t even call his name, one member on the other side—let me try to restrain myself—said that under this Bill, if it were to be passed, I would be able to write a Petrocaribe check to my family. How ridiculous? How absolutely outrageous? Mister Speaker, if this Bill is passed, all it does is to put beyond question our ability, the authority, the jurisdiction, to continue to borrow from APBEL; to continue to make use of the Petrocaribe funds. All the monies will still be a part of the consolidated revenue fund of this country. The Central Bank will continue to keep the monies in the special account. Every time there is any withdrawal to continue to fund the transformation of this country, it goes through the Ministry of Finance under the complete supervision, oversight, of the Financial Secretary and all the officials in the Ministry of Finance, who have time and again come before the nation to say this is all above board and here are the details. It cannot change as well, the oversight that Venezuela continues to maintain over the funds. This is a bilateral program and we account to Venezuela and unlike them, who diverted the twenty million dollars for housing, taking the Venezuelans completely by surprise, we periodically send them or meet with them and provide them with the figures, with all the details of the spending.”

 

Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition

“My understanding is that the intention is to pass this Bill through all the stages—although the prime minister has not said that, this morning. And I want to place on the record that we object to the passage of this Bill through all the stages today, Mister Speaker. This is not only a scandalous piece of legislation, it is unconstitutional and the Belizean people should have an opportunity to read this Bill, to understand this Bill and to express their views on this Bill before it is passed through this House.”

 

The Bill will be deliberated in committee on Friday, and pending some debate, will be pushed through all stages at that session.

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1 Response for “PM Lashes out at Julius Espat”

  1. CEO says:

    Now which government in their right minds would or should allow a government to spend money at their own will with no checks and balances?

    Only in Belize would anyone have the face to even ask for this.

    It does not matter which Party you support my people these ideas and policies are never and will never be a good idea and the people of Belize will always get hurt no matter which flag you wave!

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