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Feb 26, 2018

Gov’t Defends Finance Woes but P.U.P. Unconvinced

Financial Secretary Joseph Waight sent a blistering communication to chief executive officers some days ago asking that their finance officers stop searching for additional funds as there is no money in the coffers. Waight warned that Government will “likely have to issue more T-notes to meet the early end of year payday next month. Our debt is at one hundred percent of G.D.P. and rising. If we continue on this path we will certainly crash.” Over the weekend the Ministry of Finance hit back, denying that it would need to access any other financing outside of budgeted and approved sources. The statement, it says, is nothing more than the standard financial year end instructions for accounting officers to make sure they are restrained with spending and budgetary objectives. Waight has also spoken with the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño, who is not quite convinced, as he told reporters in Belize City this afternoon. He thinks the government is hiding a nasty surprise for voters at the Budget Presentation, two days after municipal elections.


John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“He tried to assure me that they think they have things under control, but that is as much as I can say.”



“Do you believe him?”


John Briceño

“(Pause) I have great respect for the Financial Secretary. But what is going to happen next month, I don’t know.  The Government is very skilful in how they lie. Because, yes, a part of it is true; but I have never seen a memo that will alert the C.E.O.’s in the different ministries of government telling them, ‘stop spend money.’ That you can’t continue spending money because we have no more money. Because debt is at a hundred percent of G.D.P. and we may have to print treasury bills next month so we could pay our bills; I’ve never seen that part. I’ve seen when they say we’re freezing all accounts and don’t spend what is there; but I’ve never seen one where they include that debt is a hundred percent of GDP and two, that we may have to issue treasury bills to try to meet all our commitments next month.”



“Do you think he is delaying because of the election?”


John Briceño


“(Laughs) Of course he’s delaying because of the elections, because we know we’re going to have a bad budget. We’re going to see the amount of overspending, the deficits that are going to be presented to us, and that probably there’s going to be tightening of the belt even more, if they don’t raise taxes on the Belizean people.”


The Government says all shall be revealed during the annual budget speech coming on March ninth. 

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