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Jun 17, 1999

U.D.P. former House members are being paid pensions

The United Democratic Party Representative for the Mesopotamia Division of Belize City is alleging that despite his repeated communications to the Prime Minister Said Musa, a number of former U.D.P. members of the House of Representatives have yet to receive their pensions and gratuities. News Five asked Finnegan how many former members have yet to be paid, but he could not say specifically except he knew it was more than three or four. Opposition Leader Dean Barrow told us he was certain that former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel had received his due as had Elodio Aragon, but was not sure about the rest. Today News Five obtained information from the Ministry of Finance that with the exception of four former ministers all the others have been paid their gratuities and are receiving installments on their annual pensions. In fact, most were paid before the end of 1998. According to the Ministry of Finance’s records, Henry Young was the first to file and he was paid one month after the elections collecting sixty thousand tax free gratuity and the first payment of his fourteen thousand four hundred dollar pension. Melvin Hulse was paid a forty five thousand dollar gratuity and receives a ten thousand, eight hundred dollar annual pension. In November, Ruben Campos got forty five thousand gratuity and will get a fourteen thousand dollar pension, Manuel Esquivel collected over sixty two thousand in gratuity and will receive a fifteen thousand dollar pension. His pension was recalculated after it was discovered there was an error, so he is actually getting more. Former ministers Dennis Usher, Joseph Cayetano, Russell Garcia and Faith Babb received similar amounts and Elodio Aragon received a payment similar to that of Henry Young. Hubert Elrington, Elito Urbina, Dito Juan and Fred Martinez are the only U.D.P. former members yet to be paid and they don’t seem to be in any hurry to collect. Dito Juan only filed for his pension on June second and Fred Martinez has yet to file.


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