Public Service Union Breaks Silence on Controversial Definitive Agreement
The Public Service Union (PSU) is the first union to make a public statement against the Definitive Agreement between the Government and Portico Enterprises Limited. PSU’s President, Dean Flowers, spoke with Love News today, essentially saying that these secret deals and agreements seem to be the norm with any given administration.
Dean Flowers, President, Public Service Union: “This is a pattern of behavior by former prime ministers and ministers that they believe that the power vested in them that they can do as they please. And so we ought not to forget that incident. We ought not to forget that there was also a secret agreement with the very gentleman who is now crying wolf with his company and that secret agreement had that no voice over internet, reduction in the tax rate, you have a guaranteed rate of return of 15%, no taxes is to be paid if you don’t get that return and you can offset all your other tax obligations against that. The SSB lawsuit against them was dropped because no dividends had been declared over years. The PUC legislation was the passed shackling the PUC’s hands so that they couldn’t address that matter with BTL and so and more concerning was that we also gave up our sovereignty to England or to London if that matter was to ever be arbitrated. So there is a history and a pattern of behavior by our leaders. Let me remind you also of the UHS unlawful settlement money earmarked for the people of Belize the Prime Minister and minister and ambassador decided here what is going on we will use this to settle a private debt and nobody knew anything about it until there was a change in government. Let’s not forget the accommodation agreement which purportedly was signed in a hotel room somewhere in Miami I understand based on the news in which we overpaid for an asset. Did that go to the cabinet? Were the Belizean people made aware of what was being negotiated in this accommodation agreement? Then we’re now here at the definitive agreement.”
President Flowers went on to say that there is a need for politicians to be prosecuted for actions like what Erwin Contreras committed.
Dean Flowers, President, Public Service Union: “I’d join any individual organization that calls for perhaps an inquiry into this matter to understand exactly what took place and I am yet to hear the opposition or any elected official say we must go to the House of Representatives next week Friday to pass legislation that will jail any future Prime Minister, current Prime Minister or minister for 200 years or with a fine of $200 million if they were to enter into any secret or accommodation agreement that is not fully disclosed and to also pass legislation that where our natural resources are concerned, where our taxes are concerned there can be absolutely no concession that remains a secret. If we are a government by the people for the people then how in the world can the people know what the people that we put to lead us, to represent us, are signing on to? So I challenged the current administration and I challenged the opposition who both have a whole bunch of brilliant lawyers to draft legislation forthwith. This also highlights our call for a whistleblowers act and as you are aware one was introduced over a year ago and to date it has not gotten past its second reading and there is no excuse or logical excuse that can be given as to why the government has put a pause on that whistleblowers legislation because when you have that kind of legislation in place then it gives people the courage, the comfort and whistle blow against these types of decisions because I’m pretty sure several public officers were privy to this agreement and to other corrupt agreements or actions in terms of what they can bring forth but because they may feel obligated to adhere to a nondisclosure agreement or out of secrecy they might not want to speak out against theft, corruption or abuse of public assets and of course once we have a whistle blowers legislation in place you’re able to still speak out and expose those types of behavior by any official in the public service.”