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Jan 5, 2018

P.M. Lashes Out as U.H.S. Motion is Tabled

The House of Representatives met today in a chilly Belmopan for the first time in 2018.  The widely anticipated 2018 General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation Bill dealing with the UHS judgment was presented for first reading. This follows the arrival of the official certificate of judgment from the C.C.J. on Thursday, which sets the tab at ninety-one million, five hundred and ninety-six thousand, thirteen dollars and twenty-two cents, plus another five hundred thousand British pounds sterling in costs, running to over one point three million dollars in addition. In introducing the bill, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow took the opportunity, not only to complain once again about the unfairness of the affair, but also about the seventeen percent interest rate that took the judgment due above ninety million Belize dollars. He suggested that Belize’s established law caps that interest at six percent, and said the C.C.J. would be asked to clarify.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“That seventeen percent interest compounded monthly, is not the rate that should continue to run on the ninety-one million, five hundred and ninety-six thousand, thirteen dollars and twenty-two cents. As of the date of the C.C.J. judgment ordering leave to enforce the award as if it were a judgment of the Supreme Court, we are advised that the applicable interest rate – the sort of post-judgment rate – should be the six percent per annum which is set out in the Supreme Court of Judicature Act as the statutory rate of interest to be carried by all judgment debts. In other words, in our view, that seventeen percent should have been capped at the time of the C.C.J. judgment, and whatever the total was, the award plus seventeen percent, from the date of the award until the date of the C.C.J. judgment, that should have been it as far as the factor of that seventeen percent interest rate is concerned. Thereafter, for whatever period the judgment remained unpaid, it should continue to attract interest, but only at the statutory rate of six percent. We are certainly going to go back to the C.C.J. to seek clarification on that. How we came to this pass is, of course, a story of perhaps the most remarkable piece of perfidy in a P.U.P. history riddled with perfidy. It is a grotesquerie of the worst sort, made even more grotesque by the insistence of the P.U.P. that the C.C.J. judgment constituted a vindication of what had been done. The people of Belize are outraged at this obliviousness to and defiance of the grievous betrayal and corruption that this whole saga constituted. And it is for sure that prompted by Cabinet and as well by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, I will appoint a Commission of Inquiry to plumb the depths of this river of mud and slime. We won’t get closure – that’s impossible – but we must get some detailed account of the depravity and how it came to leave us so completely without anything to show for the financial crucifixion that the court order would now have us suffer.”

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3 Responses for “P.M. Lashes Out as U.H.S. Motion is Tabled”

  1. carlos says:

    Mr Barrow made this debt to balloon. Why he isn’t man enough to take responsibility. The debt was already paid and he removed the payment to share it among his cronies. People got construction material and later sold it at cheap prize. I know of many people that sold the material they got and also many people who had no need of these material got them and sold it.

  2. concern says:

    Very well said Carlos. He same, the PM made this thing to inflate now he wants to abscond himself..what a disgrace of managing the country financial affairs..

  3. Timber says:

    Carlos, I wonder if THE BELIZEAN PUBLIC ACTUALLY KNEW THAT THIS DEBT WAS PAID. This was already paid through Belize Bank and “BARROW’ was the one who caused this debt to resurface. The sad thing about this was that the PUBLIC is uneducated, misinformed, and every time you talk to most about the rampant corruption and injustices from the UDP government, all you hear most of the say is ,”PUP DID IT TO.”

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