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Mar 23, 2016

The Staggering Debt to GDP Ratio

Francis Fonseca

During the first day of the budget debate, which broke Tuesday evening at around six o’clock, Opposition members in the gallery condemned the budget as pure rhetoric, and claimed that it is a not so clever attempt to mask the fact that Belize is in the midst of a recession. One of the last to speak on Tuesday, former leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca also zoomed in on the debt to GDP ratio. In the 2016/2017 budget it is projected at less than two percent, but in the 2015/2016 budget, the end of year deficit was nearly two hundred million dollars, five point one percent of the GDP.

 

Francis Fonseca, Area Representative, Freetown

“After an election campaign filled with empty boasts and promises of the best is yet to come, this U.D.P. government now, without shame, is now reduced to quietly proclaiming that they are on some search for stability in times of change. The truth is Mister Speaker that this budget offers the Belizean people neither stability nor change. It offers no meaningful sustainable path to economic growth and development; it offers no solution to the serious social and economic challenges facing our nation. Instead it continues to advance the U.D.P. agenda Mister Speaker of tax, borrow and spend. Instead of stability this budget presents to us a dark uncertain future, grounded in growing debt and a shrinking economy. Our growing public debt as the Leader of the Opposition has pointed out and as my other colleagues have also reiterated, places us in the top twenty worst countries in terms of debt to GDP ratio, at almost eighty percent. With a public debt approaching now; it’s rapidly approaching three billion dollars…it is up to two point seven billion. Our debt to revenue ratio is even more alarming.” 

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