For the General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation Bill, Number 3, 2017 an additional seven point three million dollars were budgeted for Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL). For the Fiscal year 2016/2017 five hundred thousand dollars was initially budgeted for BIL but at the end of the year, that amount grew to nineteen point eight million dollars. PUP Senator Valerie Woods questioned why and how were the monies spent.
VALERIE WOODS, PUP SENATOR
“In the case of Belize Infrastructure Limited, they were approved $500,000 that is the monies they have to spend in that fiscal year. They got a supplementary of $5 million so they went over by $4.5 million; we still don’t know why. We don’t know what that was used for. They got another one for $7 million in the same year so it went up to $12,500,000 but by the time that fiscal year was over it went further and the final tallying was over $19 million dollars. Belize Infrastructure Limited alone accounted for an astounding $20 million dollars so that was for the fiscal year before ’15/’16. Now you come ’16/’17 and you are asking for – they have spent a total of $19 million, on top of that where was the first $20 million? We still don’t have those details and we are not given any of the details. We are literally just given we have approved $500,000 but mea culpa we spent $19 million instead.”
UDP Senator Michael Peyrefitte responded to Woods’ statements.
MICHAEL PEYREFITTE, UDP SENATOR
“If they don’t want to work as senators, if they don’t want to do their jobs they should resign. Listen being a senator is not just so they call your honorable you know or you carry a diplomatic passport and you’re members of the upper house. It seems to me that the opposition tends to see being a senator as a perk and they just sit back and want to be spoon fed. No. As I said in the Senate yesterday you need to get up and work just like we all do on the Government’s side. We don’t get any more information on the Government’s size than the social partners or the opposition get. If I get a matter to debate before the senate and I need information I go to the Financial Secretary and I do my homework. There were ten days between the last House meeting and the Senate meeting, ten days minimum, Mr. Waight came here yesterday and explained in about an hour all questions that they had you mean to tell me that in those ten days prior to the Senate meeting they didn’t have an hour to go and meet with the FinSec so that they could have the information to do a proper debate yesterday? The debate was yesterday they had over a week to come up with what they wanted to do. If they feel what the reality is that they are beaten and they are out-debated in the Senate every Senate meeting it is for them to solve. Maybe Johnny Briceno needs to appoint more competent senators but if you are a Senator then you need to do your homework.”
Included in the bill was more than two hundred thousand dollars, additionally spent during 2016 and 2017 for Government’s Mother’s Day Appreciation Program