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LOO Comments on Budget Plan

Leader of the Opposition had his turn to speak today.  He reiterated his sentiments that the budget lacked luster and was pretty much boring.  He did say, however, that a part of Briceno’s plan was good.  We join our News Director Renee Trujillo for that story.Renee Trujillo, News Director: A representative Patrick Faber saw his first budget debate and the capacity of Leader of the Opposition. today. It is a milestone for the 43 year old politician, but unfortunately comes at a time when the wounds are still fresh created by the previous administration, which he was part and parcel of. That aside, he rose in the House this morning and presented a 52 minute address that criticized the John Briceno administration and that attempted to absolve his party from any fault in the current economic crisis.

Patrick Faber, Leader of the Opposition: “The Prime Minister’s presentation indeed lacked luster, and indeed, was focused largely on blaming the previous administration rather than manning up – and I am in no way referring to the Prime Minister as a boy, Madam Speaker. But rather than manning up to the challenge that he knew to be forthcoming as the country’s new leader he instead chose to create an atmosphere of the greatest desperation and panic with the hope of gaining sympathy for his inability to handle the job. You see, Madam Speaker, people voted for a change. But instead of that change Belizeans are of the opinion that this PUP administration is intent on producing the same old same old that they were known to produce from the days gone by. Rather than wasting gunpowder on the blame game, the Prime Minister and his administration should really be using such fortunes on building anew that which has gone so terribly wrong in this country, brought on by situations of the past.”

Renee Trujillo, News Director: Faber’s two cents on the impasse between the government and the unions indicate that the current administration is two faced in its approach over the salary cuts and increment freezes. He goes on to say that the Briceno administration is behaving like Chicken Little and the Falling Sky.

Patrick Faber, Leader of the Opposition: “The Prime Minister makes the point that social partners participated in genuine consultations, and he especially thanked the joint unions for their extensive contributions. What the Prime Minister doesn’t say in his speech is that in fact he failed to persuade the unions that his intentions for change was genuine. The two faced nature of the government gave no comfort to the unions that the request of them for sacrificing a portion of their salaries would be matched successfully by other measures on the part of the government to ensure that the mistakes of the past would not be repeated. The Prime Minister again is attempting to create a situation of panic, where in fact he should be giving hope, inspiration and motivation to the Belizean people as it pertains to his ability to fix the problem that by and large he knows were inevitable due to a pandemic. If he were a different kind of leader, rather than a Chicken Little that constantly cries “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”  he would encourage the Belizean people to do their best to assist in the rebounding efforts to improve the economy.”

Renee Trujillo, News Director: Among the long list of criticisms fired at the Briceno administration there were a few seconds of praise as father commended the Prime Minister on his plan forward.

Patrick Faber, Leader of the Opposition: “Honestly speaking Prime Minister, the four point plan that you outlined is a good plan; however, talk is cheap. This can only be achieved by anti corruption. First of all the government will have to convince the Belizean people that it is capable of executing according to such plans, and will have to exercise extreme discipline in its execution, which in their short time in office the Belizean people and certainly us on the opposition have very little confidence in their ability to do. But not to rain completely on the Prime Minister’s parade we on the Opposition’s side will console ourselves ,Prime Minister, that you have at least put it in writing. And even if this is only to dazzle the IMF and the other IFIs, we salute you for doing so.”