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UDP ACTION PLAN Always for the PEOPLE versus PUP-Manifesto Impossibilities, Shallow Rhetoric and Absent Leadership Print E-mail
( 4 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 01 March 2012 00:00

The Hon. Dean O. Barrow, on the occasion of Mr. Price’s death said “there will NEVER be another PUP leader like George Price.” John Briceno, fully aware of his shortcoming, restricted intellect, and misunderstanding of what leadership is, quickly took it to heart and vacated the leadership of the PUP. The interim leader decided that ‘that bunch’ was obviously not worth leading. The situation got so bad that the literally unknown Arthur Saldivar threw in his name for leadership, as did ‘wonder boy,’ who wants to represent Cayo South. This sent the OLD PUP, NEW PUP, and the LOSS of IDENTITY into a tailspin. This was happening in public view; a party, which considers itself worthy of governing Belize, was unable to find a leader. Francis, after being coaxed, bottle-fed and promised he could emulate, threw in his name overnight and became leader, albeit with apprehension and fear knowing he did not possess the minimum characteristics to lead a mass party, much less being leader of the country. To show how void he is of leadership qualities, he evoked Mr. Price’s name, and to consolidate our observations, he made sure that Mr. Price’s picture is on the PUP manifesto cover under the caption “Deliverance for Belize.” No disrespect Francis, but you are no George Price and you cannot be saved from the grave. The man passed on his legacy, but since 1998, the leadership of the PUP has either been the most corrupt, burdened the Belizean people with debt, or enriched cronies and family members.

Let us compare the two manifestos. UDP says “Always for the People” with an array of people, including the young, not even a picture of Dean Barrow. On the PUP manifesto it’s “The Revolution Continues” with a much younger Mr. George Price on the cover; who do you want to fool?

UDP ACHIEVEMENTS

Under the UDP, BTL and BEL, now belong to the people of Belize. Over 16,000 students currently receive the $300 annual education grants. There has been major improvements and health care including zero maternal deaths in 2011. There has been a reduction in mortgage rates from 14% to 8%. Twenty one thousand, five hundred and fifty four (21,554) land leases were issued and most noteworthy 18,627 are first time land owners. Electricity rates have been lowered by 6.14% and water by 7.2%. There has been a 47% reduction in the murder rate since the gang truce of September, 2011. There were 5,412 housing grants to needy homeowners and 10,374 home loans were written off. Some 5,500 more Belizeans were exempt from personal income tax, since the threshold was increased to $26,000.00. This meant an increased in disposal income for these 5,500 Belizeans, which means increased spending.

Added to all the above, hundreds of items were exempt and zero rated from GST. Over 7,500 new jobs were created; the DFC was revived and restructured and once again meeting the needs of the people and fulfilling its true objectives. The Sugar Industry was saved from what was definite collapse, which would have been disastrous. To ensure that corruption would not be tolerated, the recall mechanism was legislated. The Placencia Road, which was very much needed to induce tourism growth, was paved and the Southern Highway was completed. Again to stimulate tourism growth, the Corozal and Dangriga Airstrips were rebuilt. Under Minister Hulse, there were major improvements made in national emergency response, which was demonstrated during and after Hurricane Richard and other potential disasters and loss of lives were averted.

According to Francis Fonseca, “our country is in crisis…it is time to change course.” He said that he would lead a movement for change that puts Belize ‘squarely on the path to progressive growth”. Historically speaking, including pre - and post - Independence, if those words rang true, then Belize should be a budding metropolis, because from 1950-1981, the PUP governed Belize. From 1981-1984, the PUP was the government; from 1984-1989, the UDP was in government; from 1989-1993, the PUP was the government; from 1993-1998, the UDP was in government; from 1998-2008 (10 years), the PUP was in government. If my political math is correct, then from 1950 to 1981 was 31 years and in post independence, the PUP governed for 17 years and the UDP for 14 years. Do the math Belizeans, the PUP cannot detract anyone from disbelieving that the development of Belize was their objective. We all know what happened during the 10 years from 1998-2008; the PUP burdened the country, way into the future when they went on their wild spending and personal enrichment and had to create not just a bond, but the SUPERBOND and Belize, let us not forget that for that burdensome albatross, we have nothing to show.
 An analysis of the future of Belize under both the UDP and the PUP manifesto:

UDP Action Plan:

1. Extend the school assistance program from $300 to $350. (achievable)
2. Shareholders income from private companies, who gross $5 million or less, will be exempted from personal income taxes . (sensible and achievable)
3. Mortgage guarantee scheme to assist first time homeowners to cover their 10% down payment on loans up to $100,000.00 (achievable and beneficial)
4. Free voice over Internet protocol (VOIP). (achievable and beneficial)
5. Full review of the import duties regime. (achievable and stimulate economic activity)
6. Establish insurance guarantee program for exports. (induce economic activity-achievable)
7. Extend outpatient service at all polyclinics to a full 12 hours, including weekends. (improved medical services)
8. 15,000 house lots and farm land to first time owners. (achievable and increases self-sufficiency and ownership)
9. New Belize City  Infrastructure Project. (important for Belize City as a tourist destination)
10. Rebuild access roads to major tourist sites and build new Municipal Airport in Belize City (important and stimulates tourism activity)
11. New road and bridge at Chetumal Street. (increased access for economic activity and socially necessary and important)
12. New drainage project for Belama and Northern Highway (achievable and necessary)
13. Rebuild Northern Highway. from Haulover bridge to Boom. (added to the reflectors this makes driving safe and prevents accidents and loss of lives)
14. Emphasis on Belize’s culture, history, and politics at primary and secondary schools .(makes education more holistic)
15. New public schools in San Pedro and Punta Gorda. (increased students access; very necessary)

PUP Manifesto
1. Generate jobs and economic activity. (how?)
2. Reduce GST back to 10%. (thought you said you would abolish?)
3. Energy policy. (There is one under the UDP)
4. Who pays for renewable energy technology?
5. Ministry of Petroleum (to be run by foreigners)
6. BEEP
7. Light bill, water bills and food bills. (accomplished under the UDP)
8. Income tax threshold increased to $36,000.00. (unrealistic with the country’s debt burden)
9. High speed Internet 1 meg for $30 a month.(this is intended to bankrupt BTL to enrich SMART)
10. Reduce the term of government to 4 years. ( pretty much BS)
11. Prevention of corruption will be reinforced. (PUP authored corruption; bring back the millions)
12.  Campaign finance legislation. (Ashcroft money bags)
13.  Unjust enrichment dealt with (PUP enriched themselves)
14.Criminal Code. (seems to suggest that they will arm each citizen)
15. New PUP will modernize Court system. (afraid of both the NEW and OLD PUP)

Belizeans, this is more than just politics, this is about sovereignty and the future growth of the jewel we love so much. Again, I ask, who are you willing to give the reins of governance to? On the one hand, we have the PUP leader, who hides behind the mask of Mr. George Price and is afraid to even lead his party; he had to be convinced by others. Where is his mettle? Deep inside, we know that he does not have what it takes to lead; under his watch, we had a dual citizen who wanted to contest, because Cordel told him NO; vote Mark King. Mark Espat told him NO; vote Herman Longsworth; Anthony Mahler told him NO; Vote Santi. In front of our very eyes, his party crumbled and fragmented, because some of the stalwarts and proven winners didn’t want to be led by one such as him. Francis, Lee Mark has “Got something for you”. Belizeans, on March 7th, vote for a true and tested leader, one whose economic credo says “the next UDP government will consolidate and expand public sector investment in people and the economy, while at the same time harness growth and development firmly to an enhanced driver’s role for the private sector.” Those words are echoed, with confidence, in the UDP’s Action Plan for the years 2012-2017, by the leader of the UDP, Dean O. Barrow.