Cheerless Response from Opposition Leader to 2014 Budget
It is customary to get a response from the Opposition Leader on any budget presented in the House. To our recollection, there has never been any occasion when that feedback has been positive. And we don’t think that will ever change. Following the Prime Minister’s more than hour long journey on the glory train today, P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca sang the blues.
Francis Fonseca, PUP Leader
“The Prime Minister’s budget presentation almost moves me to song. I am reminded of the Morgan Heritage tune, ends nah meet, them ah say that things the get better but we can’t feel it, we can’t feel it. Them ah say money the run but we can’t see it, we can’t see it. And I think that is the overwhelming response of the Belizean people to the flowery empty rhetoric we heard this morning. It is a budget divorce and disconnected from reality like this U.D.P. government. So that is my initial reaction to the budget, obviously we will pour into the details of the numbers and look at it and give a very comprehensive response at the time of the budget debate.”
Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
“I’m not going to get into any back and forth with leader of the opposition. The speech is a reflection of where we are in terms of development and in particular this huge infrastructure drive that is producing such visible measurable physical improvement as well as job creation and economic stimulation across the board. Better can’t be done.”
“Yet still the teachers are across the way hollering at you incessantly for hours.”
“Well I am not going to quarrel with them I have said all that I have to say during the speech. The fact is thought that the Belizean public will surely make an assessment of legitimacy of their protest in view of this wonderful largesse that they are getting by way of salary increases, that also speaks for itself.”
“However do you support the minister in their pay being deducted for the day missing from school?”
“Absolutely, absolutely I think when they were doing their rallies during the month of January that was fine, but to do this after it was disclosed that they will be getting not less that 5 percent. I think that was utterly unreasonable. Their entitlement but by the same token I believe that the minster acted properly in saying I will dock your pay. They can afford it now with the raise that they’re getting.”
We’re sure you noticed the boos coming from the teachers gathered outside as the Prime Minister concluded his interview. No surprise…that happened when Minister of Education Patrick Faber exited the building.