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Nov 11, 2013

Deputy P.U.P. Party Leader maintains no participating in PAC hearings


Julius Espat

When the government turned down the restructuring of the Public Accounts Committee, the Opposition walked out and the hearing continued by the committee made up only of Government ministers. Julius Espat, the P.U.P. Deputy Leader has been at the forefront of the charge to change the composition of the PAC.  The social partners have supported the restructuring of the PAC and when the P.U.P. walked out they called the hearings a charade. Pro-tem chairman, John Saldivar, subsequently met with various social partners, including the unions, the chamber of commerce, as well as the Council of Churches.  He proposed to reconfigure the composition of the working group by increasing the numbers on the government side. That proposal did not receive the full support of the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry or the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, who instead recommended that the committee be comprised of nine members.  While that counterproposal was not quite what the opposition had in mind, the P.U.P., nonetheless, has issued a press release fully supporting the suggested changes.  News Five spoke with Deputy Party Leader and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Julius Espat, who shared with us the position of his party.


Julius Espat, Deputy Party Leader, P.U.P.

“The chamber got a proposal from the government’s side which was basically to increase government’s participation.  It was six, they were proposing six, two and three.  The chamber has come back with a counterproposal, well it’s not the chamber, it’s the chamber along with all the social partners, have come back with a counterproposal of leaving it as it is, meaning four government and two opposition and just putting in the three social partners.  That is very similar to our initial proposal.  It adds a little bit more than what we had in mind, we had six and they are now putting in nine but the end formula is about the same and therefore we have no objection to the proposal that they are putting in.  It is not exactly what we were proposing but we are fine.  If the people from the social partners feel strongly about this proposal that they are doing now then we are willing to support that.  At the end of the day it is oversight that we are looking for and the proposal that is being made right now by the social partners will give oversight.  We are now hoping that government will do the right thing.  We will resume our role once the proposal that is made right now is agreed to by government and then we will play again.  We will participate.  We will not participate if they continue insisting on the present composition.  So that is quite clear from our side.  We want to participate, it is our responsibility to participate but we can only do it if it is legitimate, if it is legal and if it’s not against the violation of the standing orders.  We insist on that.  What they are doing right now is a violation of the standing order.”

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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1 Response for “Deputy P.U.P. Party Leader maintains no participating in PAC hearings”

  1. Bzn says:

    They should recall Julius Espat as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee

    If you are not able to handle the job just say so and move on – nothing wrong with that!

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