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Feb 10, 2011

Leader of Opposition: Economy is not better today

The Prime Minister’s first quarterly press conference for 2011 was on Wednesday; it took place at a time when high priority industries are operating in crisis mode. On the heels of a hurricane that ravaged crops, the citrus industry is facing legal arbitration with an international investor; the country’s only sugar factory has halted production while a make or break crop is about to be harvested; notwithstanding the fate of the cruise tourism industry is at the mercy of multibillion dollar stakeholders like Carnival whose tactics have been boxing out local tender operators. It’s not the possibilities that were being imagined in the U.D.P.’s campaign leading up to the 2008 general election victory, but it is the harsh reality of the Belize we live today. So are things better? According to the Leader of the Opposition, the answer is simply, no. John Briceño, while making his media rounds, told News Five that P.M. has it wrong.

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“We’re hoping that we can get a good budget; a budget that would offer hope to the Belizean people. But unfortunately that is not going to happen. When we look at the record of the government for the past three years, it is obvious that the Prime Minister has no economic plan. I think what stood out during the Prime Minister’s Press Conference is that he has no economic plan, he has no plan in how he is going to create the five thousand jobs, he has no plan on how he is going to combat crime, he has no plan in how he is going to bring down the cost of living. And that is what is happening to the Prime Minister. So unfortunately, I don’t expect that the budget is going to bring anything for the people. He has come with this promise about that he is not going to raise taxes, but it all depends upon your interpretation because if you look at fuel; the price of fuel continues to fluctuate between eighty-five dollars to say ninety-one, ninety-two dollars, but yet you never see the price of gasoline go down. It has just been going steadily up, up and upward increase. So, I don’t expect much from the Prime Minister’s budget.

John Briceno

I certainly don’t know what country the Prime Minister lives in, but certainly not in Belize because everywhere you go, across the length and breadth of this country, Belizeans are telling you they are not better off—that they are worse off than three years ago. From the cost of living that has gone up; from the unemployment that has gone up from eight and a half percent to over fourteen percent; among women and youths its over thirty percent, from the cost of fuel that continues to go up, the issue of jobs—they promised five thousand jobs, we’re not seeing those five thousand jobs; they promised growth in the economy of six percent of G.D.P. per year, he is trying to boast about a two point five percent, a meek growth in G.D.P? So that overall Belizeans will tell you that they are not better off under this U.D.P. government.

The Prime Minister is using statistics for him to try to make a point, but when you look at the statistics, he is contradicting himself. Because the very reason why is it that the import duties have gone down is because of the lack of economic activity in the country. You can ask any businessman or woman across this country, any investor in this country, you could ask any Belizean and they can tell you that they are not consuming as what they did three years ago. People are not investing the way they were doing coming up to 2008 and the statistics are there to prove it. In 2008, foreign direct investment was at three hundred and sixty million dollars. By last year, it was already down by half, by about fifty percent. That is a direct indication that there is not this economic activity that will generate this activity in the economy and people are not buying so the importers are not importing. So he contradicts himself when he uses these statistics.”

We’ll have more from Briceño later in the newscast.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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8 Responses for “Leader of Opposition: Economy is not better today”

  1. rod says:

    it doesnt take a genious to know this pm is full of bs every aspect of life in belize is worse since he took office you can ask any belizean and they will tell you no 1 they are all living in fear this is putting extra stress on people and they cannot perform as they could or should no2 unemployment is the higest its ever been in the history of belize no3 corruption is rampant out of control no4 crime is completely out of hand and getting worse if thats possible and this gov has no clue or determination to curb the crime situation no5 tourism is in the drain no6 exports are in the drain no7 imports are in the drain and last but not lease education is in the drain which is causing crime to inflate even higher because instead of the young people getting an education in school they are getting and education in the streets of belize so please barrow do your belizean people and the country of belize a favor and resign please resign barrow resign before it is too late for you and the country of belize.

  2. el alcalde says:

    You are right Briceno, no importers are importing. Why import if the customs are stealing so much?
    Customs are destroying the business…period!!!
    SET OF THIEVES!!!

  3. Earl Grey says:

    AND WHAT SOLUTIONS DOES THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION OFFER?????

    AND …………..WHY HAS HE SAID NOTHING ABOUT THE WAVE OF VIOLENT CRIME???????

  4. carlos says:

    Good mr. Bricenio . I think the pm does not know anything about economics. They promised too many things before general election but they have not accomplished at least 30 %. We saw in the press conference how how he tried to escape from the question asked by the journalist about his manifesto promises . They have no plan to deal with the economy, with crimes level, infrastructure etc.

  5. BZNinCALI says:

    Earl, he was front & center at Killa’s funeral… What violet crime?….Our young community leaders are dying from lead poisoning. & goodwill

  6. victorios says:

    how in the hell would a government do good when they inherited a cancerous disease from the now opposition party, come on belizeans we are not dumb; both p’s a bs.

  7. The People Had Enough says:

    Victorios shut the hell up o.k. you belligerent imbecile, UDP have always and continue to use that sorry @$$ excuse about inheriting this and that. Remember that he knew about all these problems before he became PM and he was the one who promised that he could fix them. When the Board decides to fire the CEO of a company because he is screwing up and hire a new one and all that new CEO does is complain and fault his shortcomings to the problems the old CEO left behind, he would be promptly fired.

  8. shock says:

    Victorios, Creative imagination is what make or not make a successful business man. I use to work for a gentleman that only bought distress businesses, turn them around and sold them at the right time. This blame game is BS. This government has been in charge long enough to show better economic progress for the country, instead of finding excuses and creating one controversy after the other. I notice that the cane farmers had to wait for a long time before they were able to access funds which put the industry behind the eight ball; now the industry is confronted with another set back that will result in serious problem.The law of cause and effect at work.

    The vast majority of Belizeans are you all own worst enemy, by seen everything as politics, then complain that the politicians eat stake while so many can only suck on the bone. When will you people learn success is like a stream of water that norishes many things; while stagnant water is not good for anything. The politicians are stagnant, and the result in a stagnant country. One of the universal principle is, what isen’t growing is decaying. Too many pety minded people at the helm of the country, that are supported pety minded citizens.

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