A State Sponsored Write-off For Lean Times

The Prime Minister also unveiled another round of loan write-off's today.

This time it's the DFC. He explained how the write-off's will work:

Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister Of Belize
"We will be going to the House to seek approval for our DFC Write-off Program. And this is a program that will offer relief to holders, both of housing loans and student loans. In the first category, loans - this is for small loan holders - in the first category, loans in an original amount of $20,000 and less will be completely forgiven, provided, that the borrowers have already paid off 20% of their loan debt. And in the second category, all student loans of $6,000 and less will also be completely forgiven, also provided that the borrowers have already reduced their loans by 20%. With respect to Mahogany Heights, Government will write off all those loans with no conditionalities. It is an effort to avoid the charge of promoting moral hazard, that we have made the other write-offs dependent on some of degree of prior loan repayment. There is a crucial difference with Mahogany Heights, though. And that difference is that - you will all remember - the then-administration paid money for the land on which that housing site was located to a crony. It later turned out that this crony was not the true owner of the land, so Government did not get a proper title. The result is that in turn, the title of the home-owners at Mahogany Heights is also dubious. This administration, in fairness and in equity, cannot seek asking people to continue to pay for properties, to which Government cannot now - and for the foreseeable future, guarantee undisputed ownership."

The PM says the write-off won't affect Government's present cash flow because the cost is being offset against a DFC debt due to gob in the year 2018.

Channel 7