PUP has a Plan
During the interview the Party Leader spoke on various topics. Ahead are a few.
“It was a privilege to come together for both the opposition and the government to work as one. This pandemic was and still continues to be a serious one. It worked fairly well. The Cabinet now feels that constitutionally they run things in this country. The Prime Minister informed the NOC that they had no legal standing.”
There was no pressure on the Party Leader to resign as this was his own decision and it was respected by members of the PUP. Some members felt that the Opposition shouldn’t be entangled with the Government. The Party Leader explained that it was “time to move on” and “the time was right.”
PUP Party Leader also voiced if later on “God Forbid” we are in the same position that he could return to the Oversight committee. Also, given that the PUP would be in government that he would invite whoever is leader of the then opposition to join.
Covid Relief Program
Party Leader John Briceño voiced that his ideas or the PUPs were not dealt with or “not given any seriousness.” This was especially noted when he presented a 10 million dollar plan. This plan was to see government purchase “chicken, rice, beans, beef and pork” from our Belizean farmers and then stored. Instead of giving imported foodstuff to Belizeans they would get these in their Food relief. The plan would have 100, 000 Belizeans fed with local food for three months. The fringe benefit to the economy would be money that the farmers would get as a sort of relief as their produce would be bought locally. These same excess in food products could be exported to Guatemala or Mexico later on.
But no can do. The UDP did not accept this proposal by Party Leader John Briceño. Imported goods were and are being given out in the Food Assistance Program.
Aid for Small Business
Given the liquidity in the banks this “could be used to help small business for the short term.” Of course, the UDP would need to develop legislation and a plan. None of these happened. The UDP is devoid of innovative ideas. The plan would also include help from the IFI’s. But the UDP have found it close to impossible to get any international help.
Party Leader John Briceño stated that he feels the UDP “Failed in educating people about this virus.” “We have to learn to live with the virus. We can’t stay locked down forever.” The Party Leader accepted that the borders cannot open but as long as we find how to protect the vulnerable then we should be able to open the “airport is a controlled environment.” The Party Leader offered that with testing, the tracing app and secluded resorts the opening of the airport is something he supports. “people want to come to Belize. They want to come to Covid-free place.”
“Whatever we do should be calculated and precise.” “We cannot stay locked up forever.”
The Party Leader pointed to the 17,000 public officers need to be paid from money borrowed from the Central Bank. “We are putting at risk our dollar…the exchange.” He went on to explain that the IMF did offer some 18.6Million to Belize but that this was rejected by the Prime Minister because of conditionalities. The PM was adamant that he would not sign anything like that. Conditionalities of course are given to countries that are in an economic crisis and need to become more fiscally disciplined. Party Leader mentioned that the PM never did outline what conditionalities were presented by the International Monetary Fund.
Biggest concern is the economy.
“They(UDP) did not understand that thousands of farmers do not have resources. They need help.” He noted that the Government placed all eggs in the tourism basket. At the press conference of June 25 it seems that the PM still does not understand this.
“The PUP government will review projects and we will see if money can be diverted to agroproductive sector.” He reminded the Belizean people that he and the PUP had written the lending organizations and institutions.
“The PUP has a PLAN”
“We will tackle the issue of crime. The economy is not growing fast enough to create jobs for our Belize people. We are a hopeful people. We are optimistic. The PUP is ready to take on these challenges and to be able to have a Belize that work for everyone.” #planBelize
The full interview can be found at Open Your Eyes FB page.