Opposition bashes Government’s cash giveaway
As we said, close to a million dollars from the public purse were disbursed to select members in U.D.P.-controlled constituencies and there is growing controversy surrounding the initiative. U.D.P. area representatives, standard bearers and some village councilors, we are told, were given as much as fifty thousand dollars each to distribute among constituents on Sunday. The gesture, which has been described as a party political promotion, has been condemned by the opposition. Today, during a press conference held by the United Women’s Group, an arm of the P.U.P., the program was squarely panned.
Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Deputy Leader, People’s United Party
“The People’s United Party registers our strong disapproval and condemnation of the way in which the United Democratic Party government has brazenly attempted to turn the celebration of Mother’s Day into just a partisan political opportunity and a cheap campaign ploy. In this unprecedented and partisan move, the government has allotted a whopping eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars in order to grant all U.D.P. elected representatives fifty thousand dollars each for their constituencies for Mother’s Day activities and gifts. In addition, it has come to our attention that more monies have been allotted from the Ministry of Finance for grants to U.D.P. village councils and standard bearers for Mother’s Day Cheer. Certainly, without a doubt, well over a million dollars of taxpayers’ money has been spent. Let us be clear ladies and gentlemen, people of Belize, our disapprobation of this latest blatantly political move is not a matter of sour grapes, since as Belizeans we all respect and celebrate our mothers. What we disapprove of in the strongest terms is the use of the people’s money, taxpayers’ money to fund gifts in connection with Mother’s Day in a way that is partisan, patronizing and political.”