Mark Lizarraga – Senator
“I think it’s a matter of prioritizing. I think at the end of the day I make $130 every time I come here that is for my fuel and my time, they feed us a plate of food, other than that we pay the press whatever that cost is to broadcast. I fail to see how the numbers that are being claimed can be justified. I mean our expenses are really minimal so I don’t know where those numbers are coming from but I suspect that the clerk should be able — it should be a matter of public knowledge that they should be able to provide you with the numbers that we’ve actually spent and the Belizean people will have to decide, if this is more important. I mean we seem to find thirty million dollars when we want to build a basketball court and a stadium we seem to find tens of millions of dollars to spend on a stadium that is not completed that has been completed for years and you can’t find a few hundred thousand dollars to finish the work. I’m prepared to go beyond November being paid or not that is all I can say. The other members of the committee would have to speak for themselves but I have heard other members of the committee say that they are going to continue the work of the committee and that they are not going to be deterred by funding or lack of funding or whatever. We are not doing this for the money that we are being paid; $130 can’t even cover my gasoline barely to come up to Belmopan much less my time and I’m sure that quorum on the committee can be met to continue the work of the committee and I’m sure it will. I’m sure that all the senators on that committee realize the gravity of the situation, I’m sure we all realize how important it is for our national security, how important it is for social landscape and I’m sure that we all know that we have to get this right.”
In his letter the Prime Minister explains quote, “GOB is extremely hard-pressed to find extra-budgetary allocations (such as the ones for the Select Committee) to deal with the newly reconstituted Integrity Commission and implementation of UNCAC. I therefore repeat that there can be no further disbursements to the Committee after these last two requests are honored.” End quote. In response, the Belize National Teachers Union said quote, “However, we are yet to see work and results coming out of any of the two aforementioned entities and therefore the BNTU sees this as yet another effort to hoodwink the BNTU in particular and the Belize people in general.” The BNTU is calling for the hearings to come to a natural conclusion.