Wednesday, March 24, 2010




The Belize Chamber of Commerce has a weekly Television program discussing things of National Interest. This week, the subject by a panel was regarding the recent BUDGET PROPOSAL by the UDP CABINET. BUSINESS PERSPECTIVES’ IS THE PROGRAM.
In essence, the budget for numbers was reasonably presented. In breakdown for practical application, the budget was reminiscent of the SELF GOVERNING years before Independence. The 2010 budget, spit out a lot of clichés and jargon, but did not address the pragmatic needs of re-structuring how the UDP CABINET party dictatorship of the economy and budgets need to be fixed.
It was plain that the budget was over bloated and impractical and will fail to meet the targets. Even though increased taxation is going to fill at least one hole, there is another hole of $70 million we are short in filling, Senator Hulse explained. That said; of ALL the panel, only one person had anything practical and useful to say and that was a lady I don’t know her name, she wore glasses, but whenever she was not cut off in her speech, or was allowed to say something, she had more practical common sense than the rest of the verbose panel put together.
The CABINET needs to listen to her. There is no provision in the budget for disaster relief and we get disasters almost every year. The government continues to operate on BORROWED LOANS as a method of existing. Pay raises for government workers considering the private sector is cutting and belt tightening seemed unfair. This was $30 million budget item alone. Senator Hulse pointed out that in fact, the borrowing method of financing government, is continuing to dig a deeper hole ( all the way to CHINA ) and the rise of our DEBT TO GDP ratio from 76% to 107% for 2009, points to a big government economy run system that as loan financed, is spiraling Belize down the spiraling path of worsening financial disasters in the future.
Somebody mentioned we cannot afford all the SOCIAL PROGRAMS we have, even if we need them. Nobody offered a solution though.
It is the job of the PUP in Opposition to point out ways we as a country can live within our means. Obviously the cost of government has to be cut and other ways of providing government services could maybe be copied from e.g.: the USA State of New Hampshire.
There has always been a set of finger pointing excuses, disasters, external shocks and other beloved reasons and rationalizations, why our political parties have not re-structured our governing system. The fault in my opinion lies at home, here in Belize, by our political parties. They lack the business skills to restructure our government within our means to pay. What we have is a BOOM and BUST cycle of borrowing to pay for a government that is too big, this loan borrowing, causing a rise in false GDP from loans, then a period ( 5 years ) period of austerity, wherein we cannot pay to do anything for regular maintainance. I for one am tired of these BOOM and BUST cycles of political ineptitude. We should be able to design a government structural system, we can afford, in good years and bad years of the economy. Nobody apparently in either of our major political parties seems to have that ability. I would rather we had that lady on the panel with the glasses as Prime Minister and Finance Minister than Dean Barrow, or anybody in the PUP. At least she understands what is needed to happen to build Belize.

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