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Mar 7, 2014

2014 National Budget Presented in the House of Representatives

The highlight of today’s news should have been the presentation of the 2014 – 2015 Budget but there was a lot else to get out of the way. So with that done, we can get down to business – or money, to be a little more precise. Prime Minister Barrow’s presentation is twenty-eight pages long; it took about an hour and fifteen minutes – certainly not his longest, but delivered with the right punches. Mike Rudon was in the House and tried to break it down into small change. Here’s the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Today those assembled in the House were invited to join Prime Minister Dean Barrow on his ‘train bound for glory,’ to borrow his words. But before jumping on the train, and with teachers hurling fire and fury outside the House, the Prime Minister made immediate mention of the wondrous management skills which have allowed government to raise salaries, the sign of a year of wonders.

 

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

Dean Barrow

“Truly 2014 is a sort of annus mirabilis, a year of miracles under this

United Democratic Party Government. Unfortunately, notwithstanding Government’s extraordinary munificence, there seems to be in some quarters ingratitude “sharper than a serpent’s tooth”. But we will not allow that to rain on our grand raise-of-pay parade.”

 

With that out the way, the Prime Minister turned to the expected economic environment in 2014.

 

Dean Barrow

“With the global and national setbacks of 2013 behind us, the outlook for 2014 is full of promise. The Central Bank is projecting a GDP growth of 2.0 percent in 2014 as the primary sector returns to positive output, construction and tourism hold steady, and Government’s capital spending program expands.

Grain production should see a considerable rebound during the year and output of the major export crops is also anticipated to rise. Improved acreage practices in the sugarcane industry should increase sugar production, and already – early in this crop – the factory has set a one-day record for the amount of cane processed. Citrus output is also expected to bounce back as further progress, including by way of additional Government/BAHA investment, is made in the containment of citrus greening. Moderate increases are projected for output of shrimp and whole fish, both of which did well last year.The tertiary sector will continue to be the main driver of growth in 2014 with stay-over visitors projected to spike at a similar pace to 2013. This is on the back of the stronger performances of Belize’s main source markets, and sustained promotional efforts of the Belize Tourism Board. Sectoral activity will also be boosted by the continued growth in Government’s capital spending, as several large projects to improve road infrastructure and sporting facilities are rolled out. On the downside, the secondary sector is likely to contract particularly because the fall in petroleum extraction will continue its slide.”

 

The PM says it is expected that oil prices should stay down, keeping cost of living down with it. With the economic outlook out the way, the PM turned to the priorities of any budget – education, health-care and infrastructure.

 

Dean Barrow

“In this budget, we will continue to implement reforms in education financing and we will continue to provide resources for teacher education, curriculum development, and early childhood learning. At the secondary level we will, as I earlier indicated, earmark funds to assist deserving secondary school students to pay fees for the all important CXC exams.”

 

Resources have been identified where citizen security is concerned in terms of community transformation programs and capacity enhancement of the security forces

 

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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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4 Responses for “2014 National Budget Presented in the House of Representatives”

  1. Ricky malthus says:

    Truly barrow is a chimerical caricature of the repressive colonial past where his mind is enslaved in a cast iron tomb of silly utterances. He is a product of the slave past and inebriated and immersed in colonial stupidity and foolishness.

  2. ang says:

    Wake up people in Corozal and other parts of Belize needs jobs not can feed their families with wordy promises. Keep their sacred pledge to look after the people work with poor people of these areas send ur teams to visit n give them land public gardens to plant provide them with seeds, etc foster community development

  3. Lord LOL says:

    well the increase is better than nothing. GOB will just collect little more tax.

  4. Jorge Santos says:

    Train bound for More judgment by Our Lord Jesus Christ for mismanagement. We will keep praying for our blind leaders.

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