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Briceno also lashed out at the Government for the economic state the country is in. The Opposition Leader pointed out that the Barrow Administration had every opportunity to get things right when it accessed over $300m in Petrocaribe loan funds. The Prime Minister disagreed however, saying he doesn’t regret his Government’s decisions one bit.

 

Screen_Shot_2017-03-13_at_7.55.43_PMHonourable John Briceno - Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party


“What has happened is that the Prime Minister has squandered the money, he has behaved like a drunken sailor you know when he just get off the ship, being six months in the ship and come on shore and just gone into a wild spending spree and that is what has happened; Four hundred million dollars and there is not much to account for, 400 million dollars and our economy is contracting, 400 million dollars and we have more unemployment, 400 million dollars and crime is up,  400 million dollars and we have more poverty, that is the legacy of Dean Barrow and the United Democratic Government.”


Reporter


“Are you refereeing specifically to Petro Caribe?”


Honourable John Briceno - Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party


“Am just talking about Petro Caribe, we are not talking about another 600 million dollars that he collected from the oil and if you look at his budgets he has been spending over an average of a billion dollars, that’s 9 billion dollars that the United Democratic Party government has spent yet we have more poverty in this country and we are building these white elephants of course I want to see these fancy basketball court for Belize City but can we afford 40 million dollars right now when we have more pressing issues, a football field with artificial turf here in Belmopan, yes they are pretty and they are beautiful and we are proud of it but can we afford it where are our priorities, our priorities supposed to be ending poverty, working with the productive sector, reducing taxes and creating opportunities for the Belizean people.”

 

Rt. Honourable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize


“I don’t regret for one minute the spending of the Petro Caribe funds, I think the infrastructure and the social programs that those monies funded were well worth funding, they’ve improved the quality of life and they were consistent with the sort of objective of Commandante Chavez’s vision and so there is no regret there at all, you know how it is especially in agriculture and commodities it’s all cyclical we’ve gone through a bad patch already these institutions; Central Bank and CDB are projecting a recovery we thing that we will get over this we are absolutely certain that raising the taxes as we do this year will mean not having to raise taxes nest year for sure it’s a matter for together with the growth in the economy that we expect preserving those gains ensuring that we really grind down in terms of the expenditure cutting so that we can make next fiscal year the 2% primary surplus without touching taxes again.”

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