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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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“The upcoming fiscal year is going to be the hardest of the UDP term,” – that’s what Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the press one month ago and since then, his Cabinet has had three special meetings to come up with proposals on how to bridge the $61 million financing gap. But, there’s no finessing that kind of financing shortfall – the money has to come from somewhere and it’s definitely not coming from Taiwan – which has concluded its current programme of budgetary support. Last year – the plan was to bridge the gap with a one dollar fuel tax. So what’s it going to be this year? That’s what I asked the Acting Prime Minister Gaspar Vega today.

Jim McFadzean,
“How is the government going to address the $60 million gap?”

Hon. Gaspar Vega, Acting Prime Minister
“For the moment I don’t think I am in a position to be able to be that specific as to how we are going to deal with the gap. I know there are different options that we are still discussing. We are meeting on Tuesday. The Prime Minister is doing everything possible along with the Cabinet to ensure that we do the most appropriate decision. That is as best as I can do.”

Jim McFadzean,
“Will there be new taxes?”

Hon. Gaspar Vega,
“That is on the table. Like I said there are different options and taxes is one of them. But we have not really decided as to what is the best option so far.”

Jim McFadzean,
“What areas might you all be looking at, at taxing the Belizean public?”

Hon. Gaspar Vega,
“Well if we do tax Belizean public there are different ways that you can do it; GST, business tax, income tax – we would like if we go that way to use the system that would affect the lower class the least if we go that way.”

Jim McFadzean,
“What are the chances of new taxes in terms of percentages – 50% chance or 95% chance?”

Hon. Gaspar Vega,
“It is difficult. I think we are in a position where that is the last thing we would like to do. So we will do everything possible to come up with that.”

Vega is acting Prime Minister while Prime Minister, Dean Barrow is away from Belize from March 3rd to 6th. He’s currently in Guatemala City in a meeting of Central American Heads of Government and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,461
Expect gst to increase to 12.5% by the end of the month

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