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#430447 - 02/14/12 02:55 PM BARROW SAYS NO NEW TAX IN NEXT BUDGET
Marty Offline
Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that the process of preparing the budget for the next fiscal year is well underway. The Prime Minister was a guest today on the Love FM Morning Show. He explained to the nation that contrary to what is being said in certain section of the media, government finances are in order so that there will be no tax increases in the next budget.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“We are recording a recurrent surplus of almost 100 million dollars, we are 20 odd million dollars over budget, our primary balance is almost 3% of GDP and the overall deficit is under 1% of GDP, fantastic numbers; caused primarily by the significant, huge increase in oil revenues that we got from the export of petroleum because of course of the high international prices. I am saying that you use that sort of a windfall which we expect to see continue into the upcoming fiscal year because of the uncertain situation with Iran, threats of closing the Strait, of what is happening with Syria also an oil producer, it is a double edged sword because we in turn import the refined petroleum products and then the prices at the pump pressure our people but in terms of the exports of our crude, we expect to do well again in the upcoming budget year and you make sure that you take the extra revenue that you had not budgeted for in the case of the current fiscal year and you pour it into the pro poor programs. Going forward we are going to budget a little more optimistically than we did last year because it seems more likely than not that like I said there is going to be this phenomenon of continuing high oil prices for our exports so there will not be a difficulty at all.”

But while the budget numbers are looking upbeat, the Prime Minister said the only challenge he foresees is that the increase in interest payments on the Super Bond will wipe up a huge part of the fiscal surplus.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“As of the August payment the interest rate goes to 8.5% from 6% and that is going to represent an increase of perhaps in excess of 30 million dollars over the next fiscal year. We are going to be paying all together for the fiscal air 90 odd million dollars. We have a recurrent surplus this year of like 93.7 million, the increases in the debt service because of the super bond wipes that out so that’s where the down side is but because the revenue picture is so much better than had been anticipated and will continue now in our view to perform at the level that we have seen in the current year, we will have no difficulty in maintaining the pro poor programs."

Patrick Jones - Host
Prime Minister you say the figures look good, but how does that translate down to the ordinary man and woman on the street who keep complaining that they are finding it difficult to put food on the table. It might sound good to say that I have all the money in the bank, you might have all the money in the Government treasury but I can’t find money to put food on my table, to send my children to school.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"That’s just the point, we are not keeping the money in the bank. I can remember one of our friends from another media house asked me in terms of the Christmas assistance, well wouldn’t this money have been better put in the bank, that’s just it, we want to get the money out there to people because you are absolutely right, while we have done a great deal in terms of creating employment, it is never enough and the whole objective behind the pro poor programs is to allow people who are being squeezed at the margins to experience a concrete form of relief.”

The Prime Minister also discussed a number of other national issues, including his party’s campaign leading up to the March seventh general and municipal elections.

LOVEFM

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#430517 - 02/15/12 01:03 PM Re: BARROW SAYS NO NEW TAX IN NEXT BUDGET [Re: Marty]
Dr Buzzard Offline
Taxes are already so high I have a hard time to wrap my brain around them. Just got a new one though... The Belize PUC has put this fee on now if you have satelite TV service. In return PUC provides absolutely NOTHING. Shame on them.
_________________________
Dr Walkabout Buzzard



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