We also got a chance to ask PM Briceño for his thoughts on comments made by Doctor Jaime Guajardo, the I.M.F. Mission Chief of Belize about the International Monetary Fund’s 2021 Country Report on Belize. PM Briceño says the IMF has recognized how determined Belize is to rebuild the economy.

Prime Minster John Briceño

“The IMF, what they finally said publicly is what they told us privately. Of course, the history we had with the IMF was not a good one. So obviously there was a lot of concerns whether we would have the discipline to carry through. But they told us from early that if we could hold on to what we said we are going to do, we will be able to get out of this difficult situation. When they saw how we managed and handled the consultations with the Unions, setting up the budget, setting up of the re-negotiations of the superbond, I think then they saw that we are serious, determined and focused as to what we want to be able to do fix the Belizean economy, to put Belize in a sustainable path, to address the issue of the debt, and to address the issue of poverty and the economy and to create opportunities for everyone.”

Paul Lopez

“Will you government broaden the tax base by taxing zero rated items as the IMF recommends?”

Prime Minister John Briceño

“Well, we are not looking at that at this moment. What we are looking at is trying to address what is in front of us. The whole issue of how we can get the economy going, how we can collect the taxes we should be collecting. And once we address those issues, I believe we are going to be fine. But only time will tell as to what exactly needs to be done. Right now, we have set our targets and we believe we can reach our targets if everybody does their part.”

Channel 5