Many in the public are worried about the spectre of Devaluation.

Ever since the IMF's report was released last week the possibility of one occurring is being talked about openly for the first time in many decades.

That's a worrying conversation - and last night on Uncut right here on Channel 7, the Minister of state in the Ministry of Finance, Chris Coye said he doesn't even entertain it as a possibility:

Jules Vasquez
"How close are we really to a devaluation? Is it something that keeps you up at night and how close is the government willing to take it?"

Hon. Chris Coye - Minister of State, Ministry of Finance
"It's can't keep me up at night because we will never make that happen. So get that out of your mind as far as this administration is concerned. As bad as it is, this administration was elected on a resounding mandate to fix it and we will fix it."

Jules Vasquez
"But right now we are in a waste land, that is the line that the government used in it's release and out of that waste land I will challenge you minister, you can't produce 10 thousand houses and 50 thousand jobs. This was an overreach in the PUP's manifesto, you all knew what you all were getting into. You followed the central bank figures, you knew what was going on, the previous prime minister warned you all. So why did you all go ahead and make these fantastical promises when even if Belize is able to just level off, it will be a minor miracle?"

Hon. Chris Coye
"It's an overreach if you don't believe in yourself. I think that I believe in our people and the capacity and the competency of our people. I believe in the creativity of our people."

Jules Vasquez
"That is a platitude, the realities are our economy is under water. There a reality that every government that has been elected, the Musa administration, the Barrow administration, in their period of government they have made huge borrowings, 2 billion dollars roughly for each of them, they have grown the debt. You all can't afford to that, are you prepared to tell your colleagues in the cabinet, listen guys, there's not money to play with?"

Hon. Chris Coye
"The fiscal recovery measures and the adjustment that are required does not mean that there's no budget. There is a budget, we just have to get back into basic economics, we have to efficiently allocate our scarce resources."

Jules Vasquez
"Earlier today I heard you on another show speaking of a central procurement plan and the unions have been talking about this from 3 years, but do you all have the political will to go ahead with this now? To create a sort of central procurement office which will take away from those ministries all the power to give special contract to special friend, to so and so campaigner, that's how politics works. Do you all have the will power to take that power away from them."

Hon. Chris Coye
"That may have the experience in the past."

Jules Vasquez
"It seems to me to be the experience now."

Hon. Chris Coye
"Yesterday that was endorsed, that was presented by the Ministry of Finance to cabinet based on a small team we had put together to develop a plan for introducing a centralize procurement unit within the Ministry of Finance. That was endorsed, fully supported, unanimously supported yesterday at cabinet. Having procurement decentralize by ministry is not only ripe for abuse and corruption as you suggest but at the same time it doesn't enable taking advantages of economy of scale, it doesn't volume discounts and that's where real savings can occur."

Channel 7


Last edited by Marty; 03/19/21 04:30 AM.