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Jun 29, 2012

Slim budget, but U.D.P. programs to continue

Dean Barrow

The P.M. says that the budget is not austere, but to swap words it is certainly spartan. He signaled the need for everyone to tighten their belts ahead because the country does face declining oil revenues, increased interest and amortization payments for the Superbond and he referred to “exercising a heightened level of fiscal discipline and expenditure restraint.” But Barrow maintains that the programs his administration has been upon will continue to flourish.

 

Dean Barrow

“We will absolutely provide the resources necessary to fund the following high priority areas: Poverty Reduction and Social Protection; we will continue the uplift of the poor and the marginalized through our signature Food Pantry Program, providing basic nutritional support especially to the depressed urban areas that are currently breeding-grounds for crime and violence. There will also be an expansion in the Conditional Cash Transfer initiative, known as BOOST. This program meaningfully incentivizes youths and single mothers to engage in productive lifestyles, and also offers a small safety net for the old and the indigent. Citizen Security; Mister Speaker, the struggle to take back Belize may never result in the restoration of what increasingly seems like the lost golden age of my admittedly faraway youth. But better, far better, can and must be done and can be done. That is why, strictures notwithstanding, we will provide more resources to all the security services, but especially the Police. Increased street patrols; better mobility; improved equipment and critical mass in interdiction and prevention efforts; are the perfectly achievable goals that this Budget’s funding is designed to secure. For social amelioration and community participation and outreach, we will continue to support RESTORE Belize, intending, achieving thereby also to provision of employment opportunities—the continuing provision of employment opportunities—for youth-at-risk. We will continue the implementation of reforms for education financing to ensure more access and equity in the education system, particularly at the secondary school level, with continuing emphasis on early childhood education and day care facilities.”

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