As you heard the Prime Minister say on Friday, his government is distributing forty thousand dollars per division as a kind of Christmas assistance.

It may sound impressive, but in mass party politics, forty grand isn't much - especially when an election is coming. In fact, a number of representatives we spoke to say that forty is only to get things started, and they'll likely have to find another forty to spread things around.

That's the position Belize Rural North Area Representative Edmund Castro finds himself in - as he today told us how he's already spent his forty in his area:

Hon. Edmund Castro
"Its $40,000.00 per division, $20,000.00 which is half of it is at Habet and Habet on the Western Highway. $20,000.00 which is half of it then is there that we provided material for some of the people that did not get their zinc and plywood and so on. So we have like $20,000.00 to work with and basically we are providing 1,000 families in Belize Rural North that had never been done before with a gift basket/food basket. So far we have distributed over 20,000 pounds of food to the residents of Belize Rural North and today is Monday we are purchasing another thousand pounds of rice, another thousands pounds of beans and we need another 500 pounds of onion which we are around trying to see how we can purchase those today."

Jules Vasquez
"But this $40,000.00 assistance if you are getting $20,000.00 in hardware and the other $20,000.00 in....?"

Hon. Edmund Castro
"It's not enough."

Jules Vasquez
"But doesn't that have a risk of back firing because for every you pick to help out there is a family that lives beside it who may not be getting helped out."

Hon. Edmund Castro
"It's easy Jules, I don't go around picking or doing the selection. We have the representative from the different community in different section, they deal with the people in their zone and we try to deal with the poorest of the poor. Some people might not get but they maybe have it better than the other person. You cannot say that the people we are helping out are not in the poorest of the poor."

Jules Vasquez
"The poorest of the poor or the reddest of the red?"

Hon. Edmund Castro
"Well the reddest of the red is also poor. So majority of our people we are trying to assist across the board."

The government press office also provided us with footage of Stann Creek West Representative Melvin Hulse distributing food hampers to his constituency.

Channel 7