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Mar 19, 2020

Johnny B Explains His Solo Performance in Parliament

John Briceño

Following today’s sitting of the House of Representatives, opposition leader John Briceño explained why other elected members of his party collectively abstained from debating the budget.  Not for the glaring missteps they maintain the Barrow administration has made in its twelve years of office, but because a unified front during this time of national threat is more important to ensure that the public is aware of the potential hardships relating to the coronavirus crisis.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“We had a two-prong approach to the budget presentation today.  First, that we wanted to assure the Belizean people that we have clear and present danger in front of us.  The issue of COVID-19 is serious and that we’re all in this together and that we have to look after our most vulnerable, the elderly and those that are sick and we can’t do that if we’re fighting with one another, between the government and the opposition.  And from last week when the prime minister asked me if I am prepared to work with him, I consulted with no one and I said yes, this is the right thing to do because I knew that my colleagues would have agreed with that decision.  As you see today, they did agree with that decision that we’re going to work as best as we can to ensure that we take the right the steps to protect our citizens and to protect our country.  But the second aspect of the budget was again not to necessarily just go and tear apart the budget which we could have, I mean there is so much, but we do not want to give that bad taste in the people’s mouth that here we’re fighting one another over this issue.  It was important then for us to lay out what is our vision as the new PUP government which we, God willing, believe we’re going to be the next government.  What is going to be our vision, how are we going to address the issues of crime, the issue of corruption, the economy, you know.  It is important more than ever for us to realize that this government has done some fundamental mistakes in the development of this country.  They put most of their eggs in one basket, in the tourism basket and now look at what’s happening with tourism because of the coronavirus.  It’s at a standstill and we have neglected the productive sector and when you look at the trade imbalance, we are importing one point two billion dollars this year, more than what we exported.  We’re going to crash if we don’t turn this around.”


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