As we told you yesterday, the Senators had met up in session to debate the budget for the fiscal year 2016/2017. The Senator representing the private sector, Mark Lizarraga in his presentation brought up concerns regarding the monies allotted for maritime security and national security, in general. Love News spoke to Lizarraga on his concern.
“I made mention of two things on National Security, one that there is claim that the number of personnel would be increasing over the years and the budget does not show that, as a matter of fact the numbers will be stagnant in personnel from 15-16, 16-17, 17-18, I believe there is only one new person that the budget allows or projects that will be hired so there is no spike in personnel for that Ministry from 2016 numbers. The point on maritime was that they are totally non-compliant in setting their targets, goals and objectives. For 14 right through 18. So they are one of many did not bother to tell us what it is that they plan to achieve or how the plan to spend our money and what the measurably plan to do with it and that was my comment on that. Obviously we remained very concerned that those incidents on the border continue to take place and we would hope that the resources needed for defense personnel are put into place and that we become aggressive in protecting what is our territory.”
Senator for Government Business, Godwin Hulse, however, disagreed with Lizarraga and made some clarifications on his colleague’s interpretation of the budget items.
“The police and the BDF are being increased, that is reflected in the budget. In terms of Ministry staff and I think this is where we need to separate and I’m not sure that that is why he is commenting again you still only need one Minister and only one Prime Minister if we had 350,000 or 350 million so at the Ministry level you don’t need to increase staff to compliment increase in the rank, it doesn’t work that way. You still need one commander and one chief of police. The increase you see in the Ministry doesn’t necessarily have to be in parallel of increases in the ranks.”