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Jun 13, 2018

Government Explains Why Fuel Prices Won’t Be Going Down Anytime Soon

And while on the issue of fuel, the Ministry of Finance says it will not be possible, at least not soon, to consider a decrease in taxes connected to fuel collected by the government. In a release on Tuesday, it re-stated its position, blaming the successive increases and yo-yo-ing prices for fuel on “skyrocketed” global acquisition costs for fuel. The Government maintains that its tax bite has not increased since April of 2017 and therefore the pump price increases are outside its control. It also points out that almost all countries including the United States have been impacted. The reason government taxes on fuel will not go down is because, according to the ministry, they have been budgeted for, and as such would remove essential funding for ministries, departments, programmes and services to Belizeans. A cut of two dollars, as an example, would slash seventy million dollars of revenue, enough to defund the Judiciary and Ministries of Human Development, Agriculture, Transport, National Emergency Management and Works. Public officers would not be paid, the government claims, and essential services provided by these ministries to citizens would collapse. The government has been challenged by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry to consider various options such as a subsidized fuel fund to offset increases amid threats by commercial dealers to increase their static take of prices.

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