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Mar 27, 2017

Eamon Courtenay: Budget has Belize “Bouncing Backwards”

Eamon Courtenay

As a Senior Counsel, Eamon Courtenay has faced his share of scary situations. So what would cause the Opposition’s top Senator to “faint away,” as he claimed during this morning’s Senate debate on the Budget? Apparently, it is the idea that Belize is “bouncing back,” as Prime Minister Dean Barrow claimed in the title of his Budget speech. Needless to say, Courtenay disagrees. In fact, he pointed out that the reality on the ground is that Belize is “bouncing backwards,” and the Government’s prescriptions may make the sickness less curable.

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“When I read the title of this Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 – “Bouncing Back: A Bold Belizean Recovery,” – after a “faint weh,” it brought to mind something that Flannery O’Connor said, and I quote: “You have to stop confusing madness with a mission.” Stop confusing madness with a mission. Mr. President, only a person who is suffering from some severe state of delusion can say that the Belizean economy is bouncing back. The truth is, Mr. President, when a country is in a recession, moving to a depression, that is not bouncing back – that is bouncing backwards, Mr. President, that’s what we have here! When an economy does not grow, but actually contracts by nearly one percent, that is not bouncing back, Mr. President – that is bouncing backwards, Mr. President! When you have wasted six hundred million dollars in oil revenue; four hundred million dollars in Petrocaribe money; when you have spent eight billion dollars in eight years, and we end up in a recession and a contracting economy, that is not bouncing back, Mr. President; that is bouncing backwards.”

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