Weekend News

Belize Bank tries to speed up UHS payment

By Benjamin Flowers

Following deliberate delays by the Government of Belize in paying the $90 million arbitration award for the Universal Health Services debt guarantee, the Belize Bank has filed applications in the Supreme Court of Belize to try and expedite the process.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained this week that the Bank has filed for an enforcement order on the judgment handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice, along with a Writ of Mandamus where the court orders a government official to fulfill their official duties.
Barrow said that, in response, GOB has filed its own applications with the court, challenging the validity of the mandamus application. GOB also filed a challenge to the rate of interest being charged on the outstanding debt for as long as it is unpaid, saying that it should be 6 percent and not 17 percent.
“…how can the bank ask for an enforcement order and an order of mandamus against the Minister of Finance when it is quite clear that our constitutional arrangements as well as the provisions of the Finance and Audit Act prevent any kind of payment or a judgement debt that is not already provided for by way of the annual appropriations act; prevent payment except parliament votes the money,” Barrow said.
It had almost been a full month since the last House meeting, however, GOB has not made any strides in making a decision on the UHS payment. Barrow has stated publicly that while he is obliged to table the motion, he is not obliged to vote ‘yes’ for it. He said that he will vote his conscience when the time comes, and calls on his Cabinet to do the same.

Comments are closed.