Barrow’s French Bukut to Belize | “Après moi, le déluge”

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This was Dean Barrow’s usual pretentious verbiage when questioned about rumoured scalping of public officers’ salaries and reflects the type of leadership that has ruled over Belize and its people for twelve and a half years. Arrogant!!

Après moi, le déluge translated from French literally means ‘after me, the flood’. It has also been defined as I don’t really care what happens after, I’ll be gone. All this is a direct Barrow insult to Belizeans citizens expecting them not to have the capacity to understand.

The Barrow Government has plunged Belize into a serious economic crunch which has been further compounded by their utter mismanagement of the coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic. A paradoxical view taken from the Charles Dicken’s novel ‘The Tale of Two Cities’ “the best of times and the worst of times” is befitting of the times being experienced in the Jewel. UDP ministers and their cronies continue to dine on Texas ribeye whilst the majority of Belizeans are compelled to cut back on essentials necessary for their survival in these extremely dire times.

The Prime Minister pontificates and legislates to the detriment of public officers, dock labourers, teachers and the common man and woman. The latest affront to these workers is the amendment to the Labour Act CAP 239. Such a legislation exposes members of the workforce to the risk of loss of income and also job losses.

These flurry of legislative actions is an attempt by the PM cunningly heeding to the recommendations proffered by the lending institutions. Subsequent to hitting the ‘debt wall’, Barrow has been on a quest for new financing arrangements. The PM has indicated that “any chance of further commercial borrowing is shot. So we will have to go to these people and they will extract their pound flesh. It is a kind of old automatic. They won’t give the assistance that you require except if they say, aha you will no longer be able to proceed as though you are heedless to what we have been saying for years and years.”

Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow warned that a condition for financial assistance needed could be pension reform, the trimming of the wage bill and the retrenchment of the public sector. However, it was the investment in the public sector for which the PM cooed as being the focal measure—one yardstick that distills and defined the raison d’etre of his administration. In his budget speech for 2020/2021 made on Thursday, March 5, 2020 “making every dollar count” Barrow boasted about the “investment in personal employment for all our 14,000 public officers, police and military personnel, all our teachers, nurses, doctors and every last person who serves our citizens, the approximately 1,000 pensioners we look after in their post-service life.”

The salaries for those listed amount now to $540 million up from $276.3 million in 2008.” An increase of $35 million each year. Consequently, the PM has been reckless and irresponsible in the representation of the budget. Similarly, the wanton borrowing and the lack of prudent financial management has become the haunt for Belize in accessing desperately needed financing placing the country in an unenviable position.

To Dean Barrow’s disingenuousness, saying “I grieve for my Belize” I say ‘don’t grieve, fix it then leave.’ Aluta Continua, the struggle continues!!

VOICE of the Common Man
Hilly Bennett