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Sep 2, 2015

Opposition Welcomes Settlement with Fortis but Dislikes Terms and Concessions

Francis Fonseca

Opposition leader Francis Fonseca says he gets it all right…and the People’s United Party actually welcomes the settlement of the four year protracted legal battle between G.O.B. and Fortis. But that doesn’t mean he likes the terms and concessions, and he made that very clear in his response to the introduction of the Bill.

 

Francis Fonseca, Opposition Leader

 “It doesn’t end there, Mr. Speaker add to this the full exemption from the share transfer, the share transfer of sixty-three million dollars would attract stamp duty of five percent or three point three million dollars given away by the government. Government has also waved the one point two five percent stamp duty on the exchange control permit for the US Thirty-five million dollars which amounts to seven hundred and ninety thousand dollars. And all future dividends paid in Belize dollars will be converted to US dollars and repatriated to Canada. All the permits will be exempt similarly. More than that all future dividends paid by B.E.L. to Fortis will be exempt from Income Tax of twenty-five percent. This will amount to millions of dollars over time and again repatriated without stamp duty on the exchange control permits. Fortis can say to the people of Belize Mr Speaker it is important for the Belizean people to understand this. With this put option Fortis can say to the government of Belize…put back this forty-three point three percent of B.E.L.’s share and pay me cash. We talk about four years some of it interprets it as two years, twenty four months. But Fortis has that put option to say to the government of Belize, here is your thirty-three point three percent of share pay me cash.” 

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