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Jun 28, 2018

Government to Meet with Chambers over Fuel Tax Regime

Joseph Waight

G.O.B. has refused to reduce fuel tax. Entities such the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry have called on the government to re-strategize and review its fuel tax regime. Last month, the B.C.C.I. fired off a release in which is stated, “It is not hard to see that any increase in fuel cost quickly wreaks havoc across the economy.” In response, the Government said that reducing fuel tax would translate to tens of millions of dollars in revenue being loss, crippling government ministries and departments.  Financial Secretary Joseph Waight says that while the Government will not reduce fuel tax, it is open to alternatives.

 

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“At the moment the Government is holding firm on the fuel taxes. It is a big part of our revenue and we are holding firm on it.”

 

Reporter

“When is that meeting to take place with the Chamber, the Prime Minister and the Chamber on proposition on how to deal with fuel in Belize?

 

Joseph Waight

“I don’t think that a date has been set yet. But it will be probably in another month or so. No date has been set yet but we intend to meet with them very quickly. What will come out of the meeting is another story.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

 

“What other options are there? Because you were mentioning I think in that last interview that if you reduce by ten cents you lose two to three million dollars. What other options are there?”

 

Joseph Waight

“Well it will have to be made up somewhere else if the government is to continue providing services it will, education, health and so. If you reduce income from one level you have to get it from somewhere else or reduce the level of services. I don’t think anybody wants that. Government’s policy is this: that we will pass through to the pump any movement in the acquisition cost of the fuel. So if the acquisition cost goes up it goes up at the pump. If it goes down, it goes down. We have maintained the taxes and the margins the same.”

 

According to Waight, G.O.B. hauls in one hundred and fifty million Belize dollars annually in revenue from fuel.

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