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Oct 4, 2017

High Gas Prices Subject of Latest Protest

On Thursday morning at ten, weeks of frustration surrounding the ever-increasing cost of gas will blow up in what is intended to be a peaceful protest march from Constitution to Battlefield Park. The Belize Leaders for Social Justice, an umbrella group of activist organizations, is hoping for a successful turnout to send a message to the Government that it must lower the prices or reduce taxes to lessen the high impact on families and those scratching to earn a living. We spoke to its co-chair, Moses Sulph, who also promoted another way to show support if you can’t make it to the rally.

 

Moses Sulph

Moses Sulph, Co-Chair, Belize Leaders for Social Justice

“I am hoping that the sentiments would equal people actually coming out. And I am saying that this is an issue that affecting a cross-sector of people: the taxi men, the motorists, the people who buy at the store – because even if you don’t have a vehicle, because the costs of gasoline increase or is high you have to pay more for goods and services because those people have to transport their goods and they have to pay more for the diesel or gasoline that they transport their goods with so you’re going to pay more as well. The taxi men, the fares are going up as well – people are asking for more for their taxes: when you could get a short lift for six dollars, people are asking for seven so you can see it affects us directly. Notwithstanding the fact that presently we have the highest gas prices in the region right now, which is eleven dollars and ninety-two cents for premium. With that said and all the countries behind us are four, five dollars less with just that we know that something is wrong.  We’re hoping that those who, for some reason may not be able to take part in our gas price protest tomorrow will definitely avoid going to the pump. And for the taxi men and motorists, I don’t think people have enough disposable income that they would just go to the pump if it is not necessary. Most people go to the pump because they have to; the taxi man puts in gas so it is possible he gets a job. But tomorrow we’re saying, one way you can create a lot of power from this is not going to the pump, because then you are withholding high tax that the government is actually getting from this money. The government is probably collecting almost fifty percent of what is being made at the gas pump. So this is telling me that this is not because of some external factor; this is because the Government wants to collect higher [taxes] to cover monies that they are in deficit of and they see this as a very easy way of getting those monies.”

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