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Dec 20, 2011

Briceño says GOB didn’t give Xmas cash

John Briceño

The forty thousand dollar Christmas assistance program; who really is benefiting? In an interview with the media last Friday, following the Sitting of the House, Prime Minister Barrow confirmed that his administration launched the Christmas Assistance Program for disadvantaged families during this holiday season.  The PM said that area representatives are being granted up to forty thousand dollars each for distribution in their constituencies.  From the onset the P.M. admitted that the disbursal of funds would go to selective families; what he failed to mention is that the same would apply to the area representatives receiving the monies.  It turns out that several members of the opposition, including party leader Francis Fonseca, as well as Orange Walk Central area representative John Briceño, have been excluded from the program.  According to Briceño, who spoke to News Five by phone today, the program is a ploy being used by the U.D.P. to secure additional votes going into the upcoming elections.

Isani Cayetano

“I was made to understand that you haven’t received any monies, neither has the party leader.”

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Well if you’re referring to the U.D.P. vote-buying Christmas Assistance Program [then] no we have not [gotten anything.]  Certainly in Orange Walk Central, as the area representative, we have not received any monies.”

Isani Cayetano

“Okay.  Were you made aware of this Christmas Assistance Program at any point in time prior to it being launched?”

John Briceño

“No, no at all.  I think the prime minister; it was only because he was asked by a journalist that the prime minister admitted that they are trying to use forty thousand dollars in each constituency to try to bribe the Belizean voter.  I think that if he was serious about what he wants to do and that’s trying to bring some Christmas cheer to the Belizean people he could have done it by making the announcement in the National Assembly.  But it is obviously a vote-buying gimmick that the prime minister is attempting to use as he is seeing his political fortune starting to decline. What he did not want to admit is that some of this monies will be used through his political aspirants in the different constituencies across this country where they do not have a representative.  In Orange Walk Central the needs are many, from the issues of roads, the streets that need to be fixed and need to be paved to the expansion of electricity to expansion of water, repairing of our parks that have been abandoned, the drains and the list can go on.  And forty thousand dollars is certainly not enough.  What is happening to the prime minister [is that] he and his government are basically accepting that they have failed the Belizean people.  After four years they are finally remembering that they need to bring some Christmas spirit to the Belizean people.”

Isani Cayetano

“Has the source of this funding been disclosed either in the House or to you guys personally?”

John Briceño

“Absolutely not, and this is why we are very concerned and certainly I am concerned as an area representative.  We don’t know where this money is going.  The prime minister promised transparency and accountability but if you want to be transparent and accountable then he needs to be able to let us know who’s getting the money, on what they’re spending, who’s getting the contracts, from which stores are they buying all these goodies that they want to help the Belizean people.”

Today the Vision Inspired by the People joined the debate and called on U.D.P. Representatives and Standard Bearers to cease and desist from using tax payers’ money to their political expediency and as a campaign ploy.

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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10 Responses for “Briceño says GOB didn’t give Xmas cash”

  1. Storm says:

    Personally, I do not think it is anywhere in the “job description” of government to take tax money from working people and make gifts of it to their friends and sycophants. It’s a crooked policy, and should never have begun — it is just a means of buying votes with the public treasury.

  2. Rod says:

    Who’s paying for this corruption the poor belizeans as usual stand up belizeans tell barrow you are sick of him and his gov. Of spending your hard earned money on himself and his ministers.

  3. Abuelo says:

    Our political parties do not learn. Sometime ago when Johnny and the PUP were in power, Musa used to channel all help to the various constituencies NOT thru their area rep but thru the PUP standard bearers. UDP now following the same. But Johnny shouldnt complain. Karma is a #….

  4. murphy says:

    done say it Rod I am tired of this government, that’s why i’m voting Blue this other General Elections!!!!

  5. Ragamuffin says:

    You got it right abuelo…Same knife weh stick sheep stick goat…. two parties are the same

  6. Indy says:

    Abuelo, I agree with you! What is the difference between using the Venezuelan money meant for housing development (used by the PUP to buy votes) verses what the UDP is doing now. Very frustrating it is the same difference! Both parties are doing the same thing, the same thing they have been doing since their existence. What we need is a new party, new leaders, new ideas and new way of doing things. NIP or VIP perhaps? Any other suggestions?

  7. Sad says:

    Mr. PM, stop believing in transparency, but wait am tired of GOB spending my hard taxes on their crooked cronies. Fix the roads in Benque. The area Rep getting fatter.

  8. I Have Awaken says:

    So, they take that $40,000 grand multiplied by X from public coffers, which is the Belizeans money to begin with, to give back to Belizeans, in other words your own money is being given back to you and you should think the GOB is doing you a favor…with your own money, lol.

    I know Belizeans will vote in back UDP and I will make sure I take advantage of every fool in this country to be rich, which I am already considered an elite, but one who care and try to help the less fortunate, but if Belizeans vote in UDP again, then I will consider it ‘glutton for punishment’ and proceed to not waste much time with fools and continue to enrich myself the best I can, cause you can’t help people who don’t want to help themselves.

  9. unlucky says:

    Flipping done gave aredy but only to well known UDPs. many didn’t get and cant wait to kick him when his boss call the elections. the sooner the beta-they said

  10. Orlando says:

    OUTRIGHT WRONG!! The word from Belmopan is that Government if broke and that is why the hospitals, police department, roads, etc. are being neglected. But all of a sudden they have $40K x X number of representatives for X-mas gifts. Source of these funds: Has to be borrowed funds which we will have to re-pay come maga season in January. Shame on the government and shame on the people who lend themselves to be bribed by a simple x-mas gift. A government serious about cheering people up for the X-mas provides opportunities and the basic commodities not handouts and last minute x-mas gifts.

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