Loan motion presented for Mortgage Finance Belize project
During today’s House Meeting, Prime Minister John Briceno, also rose to present a loan motion from Social Security for the Development Finance Corporation. The loan will facilitate the Mortgage Finance Belize project that is currently ongoing. The loan motion provides for DFC to borrow either locally or internationally to accommodate loan facilities for residential expansion, real estate and development, and infrastructure and refinancing loans. Following the Prime Minister’s presentation, Leader of the Opposition stood to question the need for such a loan and accusing the Briceno administration of too much borrowing.
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “I am delighted that the prime minister has been paying attention and listening to what the opposition has been saying as to provide housing solutions because the false promise of giving 10,000 houses is certainly nowhere near to being delivered upon. I think they’ve given out a hundred and fifty houses Mesopotamia has not gotten any, Collet has not gotten any, Corozal North has not gotten any and Alberts has not gotten any the last time I checked but I am a strong proponent Madam Speaker of creating a housing solution that allows for Belizeans to have access to financing and I’ve been saying it over and repeatedly and I’m happy that the government is listening. I see that now the Plan Belize has been amended because they said in Plan Belize that they would give 10,000 houses now they’re saying that they’re providing the opportunity for 10,000 houses to be built. That is not what you promised. Notwithstanding Madam Speaker the DFC is going to need much more capitalization in order to deliver on the opportunity for 10,000 houses to be built. 300 hundred houses you claim, 300 loans were given for housing over the last two and a half years still falls short of the 10,000 houses that you have promised. And another thing I’d like to highlight Madam Speaker is the fact that again every single house meeting we come here the government presents a loan motion. I don’t have to be an economist in order to understand that if the government was performing as robustly as they claim and generating revenues then why do you have to keep borrowing. I understand that in business yes sometimes you spend other people’s money but you are spending the tax payer’s money when you take on these debts. So if the economy is doing as great as you say why do you have to borrow ever house meeting ?”
Also speaking on the Loan Motion was Area Representative for Collet, Patrick Faber. Faber condemned the Prime Minister’s presentation saying that he mixes politics with every presentation. He also added some jabs at the government alluding to past decisions made under the People’s United Party.
Patrick Faber, Area Representative for Collet: “Instead the Prime Minister decides the pontificate. He decides to speak about plan Belize and he drags things into the whole mix. I’ll give you another example Madam Speaker just to help to make the point this morning when he spoke on the money laundering and terrorism bill he just introduced the bill and I’m not getting into the debate yet Madam Speaker I know that is anticipated I’m just making the point that even in that he manages to blame the UDP and to politicize things to talk about it was because of the UDP ‘s actions that caused us to lose correspondent, 80% of our correspondent banking. This man politicizes everything and these things aren’t true. But he makes the point every time and he tries to politicize these things then he asks us to work with him. Madam speaker we all have to be concerned whenever you hear social security board and the DFC and a PUP government. We have to be concerned because these people apparently and maybe many of them were not here and this is why I guess the institutional memory is important in this honourable house but these were the fellows, the same party that is in government now who raped the Social Security Board you know? Loaned millions of dollars to all kinds of friends and cronies that were just wasted away. These were the same Madam Speaker who bankrupted DFC. So whenever we hear about these loans coming we have to be concerned. But I will give them this madam speaker and you know that I’ve vowed to call a spade a spade in these instances this particular loan is a good loan. It is alone as I’ve said and as the prime minister has said in his outline outlining the motion it is a bill to loan the DFC this money in order for them to on lend so that Belizeans can then get good housing opportunities. When you mix that into plan Belize and you say a lot of nonsense- and I’m glad the leader of the opposition raised the matter of the 10,000 homes and again I wonder maybe it’s because I am here so long we’ve heard it all but they’ve promised these houses before you know? And listen as my friend from Cayo South got up and talked about these plans there have been these plans before. Your party when in power once upon a time had come to promise these same number of houses and the number of jobs you know? It’s like déjà vu all over again and as Yogi Berra would say.”