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Feb 15, 2018

Budget “Ninth a March;” Will It Be Any Different?

Julius Espat

The budget for the 2018 fiscal year is expected to be presented before the House of Representatives in early March, weeks before the start of a new financial calendar.  The introduction of the General Revenue and Appropriation Bill, as the budget is formally known, is followed by a heated debate where parliamentarians weigh in on government’s annual expenditures.  According to Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat, more can be done to improve the lives of the Belizean people using public resources.  Those areas include the education and health sectors.  The outspoken politician believes that sound investments in both can yield a better quality of life for all by reducing instances of crime and violence.

 

Julius Espat, Cayo South Area Representative

“I fundamentally believe that government’s responsibility is to provide free education to our people.  I think at the least we should get that, that could be maybe a thirty million dollars a year and another thirty million dollars a year to be able to deal with health insurance.  Free health for our Belizean people at a certain level.  I think any responsible government should emphasize free health and free education, and if you look at the budget you would think that thirty million for the health situation and thirty million a year for education and we would be far ahead than where we are right now.  But we tend to spend our money for political purposes and that’s what I believe we should stop.  So, invest in your people, in their minds, invest in their health and invest in the economy so that we can be able to provide jobs for people.  If you do that then automatically the crime rate will be reduced.  A lot of the crime that’s happening is that people don’t have hope, they don’t have a job, They don’t have food to put on their table so you’re caught up in a situation where you have to provide for your family and then that leads you to crime, in my opinion.  I don’t think it’s a hundred percent what causes crime but it’s a major aspect of what causes crime.  And thirdly, I think government needs to stop this politicizing of any project that they go into.  The Cayo South constituency is a PUP constituency but that does not make us not be able to assess financing from government and I think that’s horrendously wrong.”

 

The budget presentation for the 2018 fiscal year will be made on Friday, March ninth.

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