( 0 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 22 February 2018 00:00

There seems to be some level of disconnect between the Leader of Opposition and his Belize City Mayoral Candidate Bernard Wagner. In Giving an interview with Channel 5 Belize news, Wagner stated that his goal will be to derive budgetary surplus and to undertake capital projects. In his interview, Briceno said his Belize City Council will be about people not projects. Wagner and Briceno are saying diametrically opposite things.

The PUP has been using the catch line “PEOPLE FIRST.” What exactly this means in context of Belize City Council functions only they know. Does this mean that they will abandon the core functions of infrastructure, drains, streets and cleaning? Only they know.

What we can safely say on Wagner’s position of budgetary surplus, is that it can only occur in two ways. The first is by increasing taxes, which very likely would not pass with the Ministry of Local Government. Therefore, the only other way is to cut staff. The business of City Council is not about profit making, on the contrary it is about delivering on services required to upkeep the City.

The UDP City Councils of past have raised the bar exponentially at City Hall. The citizenry of the city are now spoiled and expect infrastructure to continue. One can monitor the calls to morning talk shows to get a sense of their demands. Mayor Bradley’s ability to utilize creative ways of earning finances seems to have been lost on Wagner. Even if City Council is able to garner financial surpluses, such surpluses can hardly be expected to be of any significant magnitude to finance any substantial capital projects. Wagner has forgotten that any substantial surplus would not happen overnight.

The PUP’S are famous for saying we can’t eat streets and buildings. However, investments in infrastructure have a direct impact on economic growth. On Monday night’s edition of Know Your Rights, ex Revenue Magistrate Edd Peter Usher was the guest discussing taxation. Mr. Usher is a very resourceful and knowledgeable individual. He is schooled in legal drafting which is a special skill requiring thinking outside the box. In explaining to the host, the need and purposes for taxation, Mr. Usher made the reference to the fact that because of improved roads vendors can now come to Belize City from Orange Walk and sell their tamales and tacos. In effect he was saying that improved infrastructure has created and opened new markets for Orange Walk vendors. This is how infrastructure influences economic growth. Hundreds of workers travel from Corozal and other Northern villages to do jobs in Belize City. This is possible because of reasonably good roads. Here infrastructure has enabled individuals to earn a living and provide the basic survival needs for their families. Because these benefits are not visible, obvious PUP propogandists can get away with these ignorant remarks.

One wonders whether Wagner is Mayor ready. The people also need to know what is meant by PEOPLE FIRST.