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Jul 3, 2017

Minister Faber Says No Education Subsidy Cut

Patrick Faber

There are reports that the Barrow administration is cutting a ten thousand dollar education subsidy per constituency, according to members of the Opposition People’s United Party. The matter was raised inside the National Assembly during Friday’s House Meeting in the context of the debate on the Cultural Heritage Preservation Bill by former Prime Minister Said Musa. In response, Education Minister, Patrick Faber, questioned why it was that the veteran politician was asking to distribute the tickets for the subsidy himself.


Said Musa, Area Rep., Fort George

“You are also the Minister for Education, and you would know – following up on the premises that I started with this afternoon – our greatest assets are the people and the greatest asset for the future is of course our young people, our students. Now I was very distressed to learn when we called your Ministry, Minister, that the usual assistance of education subsidy provided to students across this country, will no longer be received by the Opposition members, and I will say this (Interruption): that ten thousand dollars, whatever it is, in the past; you are not spiting a member of the Opposition in depriving us of that, you know; you would be depriving thousands of young people who need to go to school! (Applause) You would be further contributing…”


Said Musa

Laura Longsworth, Speaker of the House

“Honorable Member, is that related to the Bill?”


Said Musa

“It is, Madam Speaker, it is; it is about people, the greatest asset, the greatest heritage asset in our country.”


Patrick Faber, Area Rep., Collet

“He called my office to ask my secretary if he could get the subsidy tickets to distribute them; this is the former Prime Minister, Madam Speaker; that is what my secretary reports. That you called to say, can you get the subsidy tickets so that you could go around in Fort George and deliver them like Santa Claus! And while your hair may be white, I don’t know…”


Said Musa

“I tell my people that it’s the Government of Belize giving this subsidy, so how cn be asking for it, but to answer my question, man?”


Patrick Faber

“All the students who apply for the subsidy as you know get their subsidy tickets, whether you take it or you don’t take it they get their subsidy tickets. But Madam Speaker, I am glad that they are raising this, because for many years – they are right – we have given allocations to all members of the Honorable House for education. (Interruption) Since when is it a right? Not to give you a quota! The people’s money – you are right; it is the people’s right to have access to that money but there is nothing that says that that money must be given via representatives.”


Faber said he had spoken with Opposition Leader John Briceño to provide details of how to access the subsidy.

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