from a friend... chatting about the diesel subsidy
My take is that this is merely another subsidy of the agricultural sector.
Most of the vehicles used for agriculture, and more recently aquaculture,
are diesel. Additionally, heavy equipment and power generators are likewise
Interesting to note that smart businessmen such as Barry Bowen use vehicles
that burn diesel wherever possible. In fact, Barry went so far as to utilize
tractors to pull his trailer of products on Ambergris Caye instead of
choosing traditional trucks. By doing so he reduced his import duties and
taxes on his "vehicle" (tractors are taxed as agricultural implements),
reduced his operating expenses (diesel is cheaper), reduced his maintenance
expense (tractors are designed for rough terrain and is less likely to
rust), and reduced his capital expense (tractors are cheaper). However, he
does so at other costs none of which are his "problem" - environmental
fallout of using diesel especially on fragile ecosystem of an island, noise
pollutions, damage to the streets, etc.
A few years back Barry said he was importing small electric delivery
vehicles similar to that used in Playa Del Carmen but he must have abandoned
that idea when he saw what the costs involved in doing so as none has made
it to the island. Similarly he made a big hoopla about a plastic chip
machine and the uses of said plastic in the future to offset the
environmental impact of his plastic bottles. To date I have not seen such a
program in place or a plastic recycling industry.
What GOB fails to get is that raising the cost only on gasoline may be
viewed as helping the farmers but in reality those in the dive and fishing
sector of the tourism industry and those in the fishing industry see it as
yet another punishment for their success.
Since my youth GOB has always taken a position of "Tax dem key pipl kaz dem
rich" when all the wealth ever created on the islands has been a direct
result of the people and not the politicians or GOB. Interesting to note
that in a conversation I had with Ralph Fonseca he said something similar -
"You Caye people have an attitude cause unu rich". Mr. Fonseca is a lot
richer than all the Caye people I know, Mr. Bowen (whose official residence
is San Pedro) and the foreigners excluded as they are not "Key Pipl".