As previously mentioned initial assessments from damages caused by hurricane Earl was estimated at about 105 million dollars, which comes at a time where Belize’s economy is faced with substantial burdens from major blows like the BTL arbitration award and the second Superbond payments which is coming next year. So will this situation then translate to higher tax rates for the people of Belize? That's the question that was posed to the PM yesterday.
Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize
"There will be no tax increases before certainly the next budget year. I'm not saying there will be tax increases then but if tax increases have to come they can't come until then. Especially it was not in my contemplation in any event but especially now with hurricane Earl. You don't respond to a disaster where lives have been shattered by increasing taxes on people. The only carve out I said to them would be the possibility of doing something more with respect to that good old staple that always inviting target for a fall back option; fuel prices. If the acquisition cost were to go way back down we could contemplate a small increase on the import duty but right they seem to be going up so I don't see it happening. We've said we accept that there is going to have to be a decrease of fiscal consolidation next year given where we are with the productive sector, given where are with the economy, given where we are will the falling oil prices. What I'm trying to do is to reach out to the private sector, reach out to the unions, reach out to the public officers, reach out to the CEO, reach out to as many sectors of the society as I can to be sure that whatever we are obliged to do next year will not blind side anyone. Not only are we signalling that measures will have to be taken but we are already making arrangements for an outreach effort on the part of government so that to the extent that it is at all possible whatever is done would be done if not on the basis of consensus but at least on the basis of information and participation."
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