UDP Opposition Challenges Government on National Debt; Senator Coye Defends Debt Management Strategy

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By LatAm Reports Editor

The United Democratic Party (UDP) Opposition consistently criticizes the Government for adding to the national debt by borrowing. 

In the Senate on Thursday, they seized another chance with a US$7 million (BZ$14 million) loan from the Inter-American Development Bank aimed at a blue economy project to boost sustainable growth. Michael Peyrefitte, the lead Opposition Senator, directly asked State Finance Senator Christopher Coye to think about halting international borrowing: “If you don’t want repeated criticism from this side of the Senate and the Belizean people, then stop repeating your actions. You don’t need a financial expert to see that, since November 2022, the supplements, financial bills, and loans amount to over one billion dollars. If you want us to stop criticizing loans, then stop taking out loans.”

The UDP contends that the government should have allocated money in the Budget or used reserves for such projects. However, in his reply, Senator Coye maintained that they now manage the debt effectively: “You label this as another loan, but what occurred before 2020 was a slew of loans without growth. That’s why the bills weren’t paid by the previous administration. While governing, we always handle debts, but managing the debt is crucial. Clearly, the previous administration didn’t understand debt or finance management. This administration does.”