Friday, March 29, 2019
by Karim Adle, BYM President
As the curtain closes on what is Dean Barrow and company’s 12th Budget presentation and subsequent debate wraps up we are left wondering where have all the millions gone? As our national debt soars to unprecedented heights and astronomical figures the question of whether our lives have improved arises. The Leader of the Opposition summed it up best in his budget presentation, he brought forth a sobering reality of what every man, woman and child faces. Perhaps by far the most insulting point brought forward by the Prime Minister was his arrogance and outright disrespectful manner in which he brought up and boasted on a small inflation rate over the past year when in fact all Belizeans know the cost of living has increased tenfold and continues to rise.
As the President of the Belize Youth Movement and as an active member of the Cayo North executive committee, I stand hand in hand and applaud our Representatives in the house that weathered the storm and brought forth the harsh realities faced by the thousands of Belizeans. Reality in Belize is as follows, you have a couple privileged well-connected friends of the government that have continuously fleeced our country’s coffers. I am sure many Belizeans are sickened whenever they hear the name Imer Hernandez obtaining another multi-million dollar contract for subpar roads. Is it only Imer Hernandez that can obtain these contracts? He clearly cannot obtain these contracts based on good, quality work as can be seen by the controversial results he has had in the past.
As the Budget presentation uncovered the millions being wasted on an ICJ “education” campaign we are left to wonder, why so much for such a one sided and bloated and excessive campaign that has further put a burden on the backs of tax paying Belizeans. An education campaign should not be comprised of beach parties across the length and breadth of Belize but should be comprised of informed discussions that present both sides of the coin, the advantages of going and not going! An education campaign should not entail those close to the Prime Minister fleecing the tax payers as all ads go through a specific color blind company. As the latter implies, this government has proved to us to in fact be color blind and only red is seen. That’s why members of the ruling RED party can boast that they in fact live in a good country because all they see is their close surroundings and their color RED.
The fact remains that as this budget passes, the youth have no real opportunities, and there is no budgetary increase for young entrepreneurs that need a boost in order to make something for themselves. As this budget passes, there are no new homes for the hundreds if not thousands of young Belizeans that are now becoming parents from a very young age. As this Budget passes, there is no introduction of new industries that will give jobs to my fellow youth that will shortly be graduating and might be relegated to working at their nearest Call Centre as their student loans need to get paid. There are no new opportunities for the talented, young artists that need a push for real world exposure in order to make a name for themselves. The fact is that there are no opportunities for our talented players in basketball or football, or any sport at that! However, the well-connected cronies have opportunities to obtain cosmetology scholarships on the backs of the tax paying Belizeans. Our Belize is rich in resources, which for years have remained untapped and have been squandered in the billions of dollars enriching the well connected.
At the end of the day the list can go on and on, the thousands of lies uttered by Dean Barrow and company and the list can go on and on the hopelessness faced by the common Belizean. However, as the Leader of the Opposition and Prime minister in waiting, wrapped up his speech he once again restored hope that a better Belize is possible and the PUP will seek to restore pride and integrity to our Belizean culture and heritage. I applaud the concept of the basic Belizean Bill of Rights being enshrined within our constitution and I welcome it with open arms. Our Belize can and will do better! The dawn of a new day is soon approaching and a Belize that works for everyone is not only possible but it is soon coming.