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Feb 23, 2018

Business Senator Eyes True Accountability and Proper Spending

Mark Lizarraga

Still on the national budget, eagle eyes will be turned on Belmopan to see if Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his government have been able to live up to the promises made not only to Belizeans, but also to international stakeholders, to maintain a reasonable standard fiscally while following through on keeping the cost of living down and addressing other key national priorities. While the business community has not been openly approached for consultation as it has been in the past, their government representative, Senator Mark Lizarraga, says they will be keeping an eye on a few things when the bill comes to Belmopan on the ninth of March. Speaking with News Five, the Senator pointed to the additional contributions from statutory bodies and whether the Government runs another spending deficit leading to increased taxes.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator for the Business Community

“All of the bodies that are owned by the Government now have to contribute by law to the budget; so we want to see audited numbers to see how much they really should be contributing to the budget; we were very disappointed in the level of detail we saw in last year’s budget as to their contribution to the national budget. One of the things we’ll be looking for is this continuing trend of busting our budget, so to speak; overspending. We’ve believe that we’ve been on a path of unsustainable borrowing and spending that has led to increased taxation. Increased taxation not only takes up the cost of living for all Belizeans, but puts business in an uncompetitive position, especially compared to our neighbors. And we continue to see a flood of Belizeans leaving the country to do their shopping; because those goods can be procured, in many instances, abroad in a lower tax environment.”

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