The Belize National Teacher’s Union has reacted to the Prime Minister’s notice letter to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster, which informs that his Government will no longer provide any more financial support to the work of the Committee.
The PM’s letter, dated August 3rd, followed a correspondence by Webster, in which he requested $124,202 to cover the cost of the Senate Select Committee’s hearings operation through to November 2017.
The PM wrote back railing up that while the Ministry of Finance will provide the funds requested to meet the cost up to November, no more money will become available after that. That would mean, technically, that without the needed funds, the Senate Committee would likely discontinue its work, and no one would be happier than the members of the United Democratic Party who have been calling for the Committee’s investigation to close.
If you would recall the Senate Select Committee’s investigation into the Auditor General’s special audit on immigration came about as a result of the Belize National Teachers Union’s 11-day strike last year. The Government negotiated a truce by agreeing to support the formation of the Committee as part of reform measures. The BNTU in return called its strike off.
Now with the possibility of the Senate Committee ceasing its work because of a lack of funding, the BNTU has come back into the fore express disapproval for the PM’s notice.
The BNTU writes: [quote] “the BNTU cannot fathom our Prime Minister’s inability to see the tremendous importance if the work being carried out by this Committee. Even today we continue to be bombarded by the revelation of an almost continues stream of scandals and schemes coming out of our government departments. We fully understand that this work is a long and tedious process however there can be no short cuts in our attempts to uncover the truth, to make the necessary recommendations for changes in our systems and to bring the perpetrators to justice” [end quote].
The release then concludes: [quote] “we will not sit idly by and allow this process to be derailed before it comes to its natural conclusion. Through this medium, Prime Minister Barrow and his Government are reminded that the BNTU strike action remains ON HOLD as we continue to monitor the work of these highly essential check and balance organs” [end quote]
The BNTU calls on the Government to leave “no stone unturned” in looking after the best interest of the Belizean people.