The People’s United Party has rejected the loan motion as mentioned before because they sate it is not only unconstitutional but also illegal. The latter stems from government, says the PUP, failing to adhere to the requirements of the finance and audit act that was only recently amended by the very UDP government. That act mandates parliamentary approval for any government borrowing upwards of ten million dollars.

 

Screen_Shot_2014-11-18_at_8.23.31_PMHonorable Said Musa – Fort George Area Representative


“The Prime Minister and his then paid Association of Concerned Belizeans accused me of not getting approval of the house for 20 million dollars of grant money and now he stand and you all on that side stand accused of not bringing to the 228 million dollars.  PUP 20 million grant money in other words free money and we don’t have to pay back, you 228 million dollars that every man, women and child of Belize will have to pay back, that is right Mr. Speaker so it is not only illegal, in fact, this is the second irony that has happened, it is not only illegal and immoral what they are doing but it is criminal and you know why it is criminal because they made it so, that is right it is the UDP government in 2010 when they first start to get the Petro Caribe money amended the finance and audit act to make it a criminal offence for any violation of any of the regulations of the finance and audit act of 2005 so Mr. Speaker they have created a law to jail every single one of them.”


Honorable Francis Fonseca – PUP Party Leader


“The loan motion seeks to ratify and confirm an illegal borrowing and spending by the UDP government since September 2012, the manner in which the borrowing and spending has been conducted is contrary to the intend of the act and has defeated and frustrated the intent of the act which is to provide for better provisions regulating public revenues and expenditure.  Mr. Speaker when 230 million dollars is borrowed even on a concessionary program in the name of the Belizean people and there is no legal and proper authorization for such borrowing and no proper accounting of those monies, we have an absolute obligation to not only ask questions but to act to demand answers on behalf of the Belizean people.”


But according to the PM, the Petrocaribe funds are not a straight forward loan from the bank. The volumes, he adds, cannot be known before hand as it fluctuates according to the global oil market. This is what makes the need for approval a bit complicated said the PM.

 

Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize


“Since the essential particular, the amount we are borrowing is unknowable until we actually receive it, do we come at every point at fiscal year once those receipts of the finance portion exceed 10 million dollars or do we wait for the end of the fiscal year then pass a validation motion covering the exact figure received for that year, it is the latter that we are doing now and that is the way we will continue to proceed in the future for as long as this program lasts.”


And then there’s the accusation of no proper accountability of the funds already spent.


Honorable Said Musa – Fort George Area Representative


“228 million is a lot of money Mr. Speaker, how much has been spent and on what project we really have no details you know we still don’t, the people have not been told, what we do know is that Petro Caribe funds have been used time and time again as a political slush fund that is what we know, it has been used to spend on budgeted millions for UDP cronies and party hacks and the prove of it is right here in the house today when they come with all these supplementary over 40 million dollars, it has been used to benefit in the millions a select few of UDP cronies contractors yes like Imer Hernandez and we could name several more but they are not too many because there is only a hand full benefit Minister Finnegan, it has been used for high profile fancy projects mostly in Belize City, and they are getting a hell of a lot of attention you wonder why you think you can buy your way back into power but not even a trickle for the poor people in the rural community’s man.”


Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize


“Every dollar spent is recorded and accounted for by the financial secretary, the same financial secretary that the member for Cayo South abuse most terribly, that man isn’t the nephew of the father of the nation, same financial secretary that the member for Cayo South abused on television, abuse the man because the man told the truth and said every single penny under this government spent under the Petro Caribe fund is properly recorded and accounted for. Mr. Speaker it is in furtherance of that accountability that we are also today, we dealt with it initially a while ago, introducing supplementary allocations bills dealing fully with the Petro Caribe spending providing line by line, head by head descriptions of each and every single disbursement because we have nothing to hide.”


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