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Jan 5, 2011

P.M. says he is not about to revisit the one-dollar Fuel Tax

Earlier our viewers polled that fuel prices should be brought down as promised by the prime minister. Prices for premium and regular gasoline are now over the ten dollar mark, but the PM says he is not about to revisit the one-dollar tax that he imposed a few years ago and promised to revisit. The only silver lining for consumers is the hope that prices for the crude would eventually start to go back down.

Dean Barrow

“I’ve just checked last night and I see that oil is now trading at under ninety dollars a barrel.  This huge spike in pump prices was a large measure to the fact that the acquisition costs for the refined product has gone up based on the ninety-one, ninety-two dollars per barrel at which crude oil was trading. Look, it’s not just a matter of supply and demand in terms of the international prices. It also has to do with speculation. It also has to do with people fleeing into commodity as a hedge against a weakening dollar—oil is traded in U.S. dollars. The dollar has strengthened against the euro. The global economy and the US economy in particular are showing some new signs of robustness for 2011. People are now getting out of commodities and deciding to invest more in equities in bonds and into dollar holdings. As long as that trend continues there will be continuing downward pressure on the oil prices. We have to look and see. The OPEC people are saying that they expect oil for 2011 to trade between the seventy and eighty dollar per barrel range. If that’s what happens, there is no need for me to revisit the tax. If this drops now back down to under ninety-dollars a barrel doesn’t hold, if it goes back up about ninety dollars a barrel and trading at over ninety dollars a barrel does hold for three months or so, then at budget time I will have to do something. But it is so volatile and there is so much that goes into the mix that you can’t be premature and you can’t jump too quickly. I’d look like a fool going up and down like a yoyo. We’ve got to see what a trend is. This is a blip not a trend.”

Marion Ali

“But locally though, can Belize have a plan B, how far away are we as…”

Dean Barrow

dean barrow


“The plan B is to refine.”

Marion Ali

“Yes, how far are we away from that?”

Dean Barrow

“We have two proposals.  Some Mexicans have approached us.  We’ve done the due diligence. They appear to be very serious, very well healed and with technical ability to do this. One thing that’s holding up in making a decision in their favor is that BNE has said that it is contemplating the possibility of a full fledge refinery. Gilly Canton, the C.E.O. told me that their Board will make a decision by the twelfth of this month. If BNE wants to do it, in my view, it will be a Cabinet decision; my view is that we go with BNE. They are the ones extracting the oil. They have a little bit of a track record in so far as one of their principals had gone into the blue sky venture that did some partial refining or more like blending to produce a diesel product. That went awry because of personality problems between the person who was from BNE and the partner from Houston. But if the BNE Board of Directors votes to make the investment in the refinery, Cabinet will have to determine which would be the better proposal. I am prepared to say from now it just seem to me preliminarily to make more sense to go with the people that are already here.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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12 Responses for “P.M. says he is not about to revisit the one-dollar Fuel Tax”

  1. rootsman says:

    If you find it such a difficult thing to remove the dollar tax on fuel then maybe you should have not placed the tax in the first place, what about cigarettes and alcohol or maybe not alcohol since you got to use your own money to purchase that but if you could place tax on alcohol maybe it would keep the Belizeans sober enough to know when they are getting screwed by their government and keep the women from visiting the emergency rooms of the hospitals so often after their men hit them over the head with their rum bottles and maybe have more money in households to purchase food instead.

  2. Earl Grey says:

    BUILD AN OIL REFINERY NOW…………we can make our own …….REFINED PRODUCT.

  3. rod says:

    shows you how dumb this pm is every central american country except honduras is getting cheaper prices on fuel from venezuela except belize and honduras and thats because this pm wants to be like obama and doesnt like chavez how dumb we should not get into the us venezuela scuabble but this pm should be doing whats best for belize and its people we could be getting much better prices if we had a true leader.

  4. bzmar says:

    YES, LET US SEE THIS REFINERY.

    I HOPE THIS IS NOT LIKE THE HYDRO DAMS….WE HAVE DAMS THAT WORK BUT STILL PAY HIGH ELECTRIC BILLS.

  5. EL CHE says:

    The facts are that this lawyer known as dean barrow,like the rest of the mafioso lawyers in belize as politicians dont pay for gasoline,so he dont know how it feels to pay over 10$ belizean for a galone of gas.thats the bottom line,and thats what the reporter should have make him aware of or should have told him,

  6. EL CHE says:

    Build a refinery in belize?the only way this belizeans make something happen in belize is if their is something for thier pockets,or bank accounts,or if thier lawfirms are involved in making those sweet deals.

  7. rootsman says:

    Allowing BNE to build the refinery is all good so long as they don’t try to recapture their expenses in a short time thereby keeping the price of fuel higher than expected, I think that they should get some numbers first to see what those costs are or better yet bid the construction of the refinery out to see what company comes up with the best deal that will benefit the people of Belize instead of making this an arbitrary decision, after all BNE is already benefitting from the drilling of the oil with no real benefits to the Belizean public, to establish another monopoly would probably not be a good thing, personally I would put my money on the Mexicans to do a good job providing that it is understood that so much of this refined oil needs to stay in the country at a set price to be increased only by the inflation rate as controlled by the marketing board, and please lets revisit this ESSO contract since obviously there will be a problem with this we might have to nationalize those storage tanks or if the Mexicans do the job we can use storage in Chetumal which is just a stone throw away from Belize, this should be a good ace in the hole to soften negotiations with ESSO if they still choose to do business in Belize.

  8. Earl Grey says:

    BUILDING AN OIL REFINERY IS LONG OVER DUE………….

    WE DON’T EXPORT ORANGES TO IMPORT ORANGE JUICE…………

    WE DON’T EXPORT SUGAR TO IMPORT REFINED SUGAR…….

    There is a local guy REFINING OIL……………. WE NEED TO SUPPORT HIM….

    KEEPING OIL AT VERY AFFORDABLE PRICES.

  9. BZNinCALI says:

    A refinery sounds great, it will provide jobs & if the big boys can keep their greed in check, lower consumer prices. Again, why are grown men sounding like whiny little girls?. True professionals don’t allow personality conflicts to interfere with getting their work done & generating revenue. Hire people with expertise in the field until we can get our people properly educated & trained.

    El Che, I agree with your second comment, & Rootsman, I hope they are considering some of your suggestions.

    rod, the US buys oil from Venezuela, don’t believe the media hype.

  10. Kay says:

    The Prime Minister doesn’t want to “Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs”. This tax is a sure thing for GOB coffers. Without it they can’t go across the border in OUR government rides or carry the family all over the country on weekends on OUR taxpayer dollars just because they feel like it. They need that ‘piggy bank’ to be fat all the time even if it’s breaking the tax-payer’s back.

  11. Alf says:

    good thinking rootsman….i like where u going with this

  12. Eve says:

    I like “rootsman” comment, why not put the dollar more on the damn cigaretts and alcohol, it will sure have drunkards thinking twice and staying sober to give their wives and children a better life, how about killing two birds with one stone PM.

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