But what will be in the budget?
So what is in store in the budget? There is some new and some rehashing of projects. Osorio also told News Five that the construction of a new bridge at the Macal River adjoining the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio, is contemplated as is the completion of the Kendal Bridge. Equally impactful is Belize’s external debt, particularly the Super Bond payments, which makes up twenty percent of the budget.
Artemio Osorio, Budget Director, Ministry of Finance
“Since there are [certain changes], the realignment of ministries, that has happened, so there are some other ministries that came into stream now. So the size of the House of Representatives has also grown and there’s a different configuration of who are ministers, ministers of state, representatives, senators, everybody. So that would require that the draft budget that we had already prepared be realigned to take into effect these new changes. We have requested from all the ministries that they submit a revised submission that will be looked upon and that will also be debated and we expect, as I said before, that it would come into effect sometime around July or August. There are the normal increases in increments for public servants. There are new projects that come along and that we expect new projects to come on stream so it is in the same area and we expect some new projects to begin and some other projects to finish. We have the Jalacte Road for example that we expect to finish in this new financial year. We have the bridge, the Kendall Bridge and we also have some other bridges that will begin, the Macal Bridge for the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Towns. Those will begin so the budget will be a little larger, every year we expect a little increment because of inflation and also for increments to be granted and so we expect it to be a little more. We expect no new taxes. The government has not announced any new taxes so we’re working with what we have the regular revenue that we expect and the expenditure, we try to keep the expenditure within a deficit of two percent of GDP, you know, to be able to keep our credit worthiness. The budget for the interest payments is around a hundred and eight million dollars, including the Super Bond and when we also add the principal amount that is also being paid it becomes a hundred and ninety million dollars annually. So that is roughly about twenty percent of the budget that must be allocated to meet the debt.”