Opposition Leader Criticizes Government’s Supposed Forty-Member Delegation to COP 30 as Wasteful
The Leader of the Opposition, Moses “Shyne” Barrow, says the government’s supposed forty-member delegation to COP 30 is a waste of taxpayer dollars. The opposition has issued a list of personnel from the government, NGOs, and the media that it says the Briceno Administration is sending to the international even at the cost of taxpayers. The LOO says that the government is gearing up to send over four dozen persons, including ministers, CEOs, administrative staff, and even a minister’s wife. Yesterday, Barrow rallied against the move and says GOB is using public coffers for the wrong reasons.
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “While Belizeans still don’t have adequate housing, while Belizeans are still being punished by the highest cost of living ever, the government has all these hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend. Whereas the Prime Minister and his Minister of Climate would have been suffice, and maybe the CEO in that ministry but I don’t see the need for all of these other ministers to attend and this is just another opportunity on taxpayer dollars for them to live a lavish and luxurious life, which is what they’ve been doing. Everybody is suffering everybody is punishing except the ministers and their cronies and political affiliates and this is another example of that. It is not responsible prudent governance of the people’s coffers. It is complete wastage.”
While Barrow was confident in stating the list was too long, Cabinet Secretary Stuart Leslie says GOB doesn’t even have a list. Today, Leslie spoke to Love News about the opposition’s comments and says that the list posted to social media is not factual.
Stuart Leslie, Cabinet Secretary: “On behalf of the Prime Minister applications for travel comes into the Cabinet Secretary and the Cabinet Secretary then relays the information to the Prime Minister and then this goes over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I have not seen any list because the entire delegation is not set. I don’t know, I haven’t seen the list so I don’t know who are on the list I think you mentioned to me some thirty something names. To this date I have not, Prime Minister has not given permission for approval for thirty people to travel so I don’t know where that list came from but I can tell you right now as far as I know the Minister with responsibility for Sustainable Development, the Minister with responsibility for the Blue Economy, a representative from the Ministry of Finance those are the people that I know that have applied to travel. I don’t know of anybody else who has applied to travel and so at this point I can’t tell you what the delegation is because it’s not finalized.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Would you chalk up this list to simply say it’s mischief making ?
Stuart Leslie, Cabinet Secretary: “I don’t know I haven’t even seen the list but if you want me to call it mischief then I will say it I can tell you it’s not a fact, it’s nonsense.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Based on the list there’s persons who have been deemed as support one of them is a wife of a minister persons might see this as clearcut nepotism.
Stuart Leslie, Cabinet Secretary: “I don’t want to cut you across my brother but you’re asking me to comment on something that I honestly don’t know. I have not seen that list. I saw what your colleague showed me on a telephone just now which I don’t have on my glasses so I can’t see I’m not dodging the subject I really do not know.”
Leslie added that several organizations are footing the bill for persons representing Belize at the event.