Yesterday the Senate met in Belmopan to debate several bills including the Petro Caribe Loans Amendment Bill and two general Revenue supplementary appropriation bills. While it was expected that the PUP Senators, the Senator for the Private Sector and Senator representing the Unions and Civil Society would vote against the bills and that the UDP Senators would vote for, much criticism has befallen the Church Senator, Father Noel Leslie for voting in favor. In speaking about one of the revenue supplementary bills, Senator Leslie told his colleagues that while he agrees with the bills, he asked for more accountability and transparency on how the funds are being spent.
Rev. Noel Leslie – Church Sentor
“As we look at this bill, this act before us, it’s important for us to realize that we want to see our country Belize move forward. We don’t want to see a back water country. We realize that much had been accomplished, there’s been a transformation all over Belize City in particular, we see it and for this we are grateful Mr. President. Sure enough the concern of everyone is that the greater common good will always be served, that there be a sense of fairness at all times as funds are used and of course we want to make sure that money is used wisely, not just for temporary fixes but that there will be some tangible results, something good that we can see down the road. As was mentioned that, yes this money is being loaned to us at only 1% interest, that is something marvelous. Knowing that interest rates can be pretty high Mr. President we want to see value for money in the future. We want to see accountability and transparency down the road. Yes an effort has been made at this time to present us with the supplementary operation schedule but projections sat the same time let us get detailed reports of how the money is was spent. I believe that will make everybody from both parties or other parties in our country and even our people in general be happy and satisfied that proper accountability is being made.”
The other bills that passed through the senate are the Cruise Ship Passenger tax Bill 2015 and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre Bill 2015.