The Senate debated an over seventy million dollar supplementary budget brought to the National Assembly by Prime Minister John Brice�o at the last sitting of the House. It is the third supplementary budget brought before the upper chamber since October of 2021. Eamon Courtenay, Senator for Government Business, took the lead in the debate. He outlined how the Brice�o Administration intends to use the funds.

Eamon Courtenay, Senator for Government Business

"In anticipation of the grand standing, I want, Madam President, to explain for the benefit of those who intend to perpetrate mischief, the main items in the supplementary. The first one, Madam President, under head 19:121 Medical Supplies, fifteen point five million, addresses the purchasing of drugs for the public service. It is stated right there, materials and supplies, pharmaceuticals and consumables. And, before mischief-makers take to the floor, let me make it abundantly clear that there are a number of amounts stated under the subhead, contracts and consultancy. No appropriation is being made for any consultancy. All of these under the Ministry of Health, we are told, are for contract for the supply of services and goods, not consultancy. It is styled contracts and consultancies simply because that is the heading that is given to that subhead. The one point five eight three million under the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology is self explanatory. It is for scholarships. One point eight million was appropriation and additional one point five million is being sought to educate the Belizean people. You will hear if the persons who have broken the law support this, or are against providing scholarships. For the police department, we have several under each sub heads and each district where police stations exist, the materials and supplies, and the amount that is being further appropriation for each subhead. In addition to that, there is the one point five million for the new Kolbe contract. All of these are set out as maintenance, as you can see they are very small figures, twelve thousand, fifteen thousand, six thousand, eighteen thousand, but for the purpose of our commitment to depart from the wrong doing of the past, we have set out in detail each one of these appropriations so that you can see where these amounts is going. We are going to see in a short while whether those who break the law will oppose money being given to the rehabilitation of police stations. We will see whether they oppose money being provided for the daily operations of the Belize Police Department."

The supplementary allocation also includes one point seven million dollars for the Ministry of Defense and Border Security, an additional twenty nine point nine million dollars under capital expense two, as well as allocation for the rehabilitation of the Haulover Bridge under Cap three.

Senator Peyrefitte Criticizes Supplemental Budget Items

Lead Senator for the Opposition, Michael Peyrefitte, criticized the Brice�o Administration for presenting a third supplementary budget in less than five months. Peyrefitte accused G.O.B. of lacking the creativity and ideas needed to rebuild the economy. He also alleged this supplementary budget is "one last hustle before the next budget is read."

Michael Peyrefitte, Lead U.D.P. Senator

"Nothing he said in his preamble to try and disarm us will change the fact that we were here in October for a supplementary budget. We were here in December for a supplementary budget, and now we are here in February with a supplementary budget, asking the people for seventy million dollars. You could dance around it and try to pre-empt it with an explanation that should have been saved for winding up the debate and response and everything. But listen, the numbers don't lie and the intent of the Government cannot be hidden. When you look Madam President, general administration, personal emoluments for the D.P.P. office, a hundred and sixty seven thousand dollars, for what? You didn't know that in December? And if they wah come with scratch records Madam President, then the music have to scratch. Because, if you show no creativity and no new ways of growing the economy like the current Prime Minister criticized the previous Prime Minster for not doing, then you are going to hear the same thing as well. You have personal emoluments, you can't give the people their ten percent back, you can't give people their pay, but you can hire more people. Ministry of Finance, general administration, weh that? You talk about explanation in great detail, two hundred thousand for general administration of the Ministry of Finance? Central Information Technology, is that the 365? One million four hundred and thirty one thousand seven hundred and thirty three thousand, when you already have four million four hundred and sixty six thousand one hundred and eighty one dollars. What you need an additional one million dollars for?"

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