The office of the Prime Minister sought to reassure Belizeans that the government will be able to extricate itself from what the Financial Secretary Joseph Waight described as an impending financial crash due to high levels of debt and overspending. Waight wrote to the CEOs asking them not to look for money in their budgets because there is none. But one week out from Prime Minister Dean Barrow presenting the new budget, P.U.P. Legal Advisor and Senator Eamon Courtenay is not holding his breath for an economic miracle. Waight himself said last year that higher taxes were inevitable; Courtenay today told us that Belizeans should get ready.
Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Legal Advisor
“The Financial Secretary is saying, stop look, because we bruk – no money no deh. It signals in the clearest possible terms financial mismanagement by [Prime Minister Dean] Barrow and [Patrick] Faber; they are incompetent. What are we going to get in the new Budget? You know and I know: pretty words, all glitter and no substance. We’re going to get more taxes, we’re going to get more hard times under Barrow and Faber and it is going to put Belizeans worse off than they are today: it is easy to predict. We have a government that is intent on paying people like the Monteros and Boots Martinez and them in preference to the people that need it most. It is absolute financial mismanagement by Barrow and Faber. You can expect more taxation and you can expect budget cuts. Listening to deputy Prime Minister Faber suggesting that’s not going to happen – Alice in Wonderland! These guys believe they are living in a parallel universe, Belizeans are feeling the pain. And I am predicting when the Budget is read on the ninth of March, it is not going to be a budget of plenty; it is going to be a budget of pain. Yet another one from the Barrow/Faber administration. The bondholders are watching, but not only the bondholders – local business people are watching. Local business people are cutting off credit to the Government, because they realize as the Financial Secretary has said, the Government is broke. And when you come with this next Budget, yes, there will be a little money in the first quarter and so on because the Budget has just started, but the overspending and over budgeting will continue; there’s no doubt about it.”