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Mar 11, 2011

2011-2012 Budget with $46.4 Million deficit

Dean barrow

Even though construction, manufacturing and fishing are not up to target and shrimp production has not shown signs of recovery, in the new budget, government is projecting a three percent growth in GDP. According to the prime minister, the growth will be reflected in electricity generation, retail trade, tourism services, transportation and agricultural production as well as investment in the public sector.  The thrust of the budget is on poverty reduction but government says it will spend only two point five million to help with the food support programme.  Other priorities of the budget are citizen security, education, health and physical infrastructure and GOB has also found a new bilateral partner. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was in Belmopan today when the budget was read.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The 2011-2012 budget presentation took place today at parliament which was filled with supporters of Cayo South’s Ramon Witz, blocking opposition supporters from the gallery. During the budget presentation, the PM announced no new taxes, except for Belize Natural Energy.

Dean Barrow

“In the recent weeks leading up to this budget presentation, I made the pledge that there will be no new taxes on Belizean public. This is a pledge that this budget honors. We have therefore constructed the budget with creativity to avoid the need for any tax increases that will place a burden on local businesses, employees and the general public. However, there is one small measure that we propose to impose, but only on the local oil sector—that is; to raise the rate of excise tax on locally produced petroleum from one dollars to two dollars per barrel. Giving what that sector is reaping from the recent spikes in international prices, we do not think that this is asking too much. The additional yield is expected to be in the region of one point two million dollars and the proceeds will be applied to that new social protection program in the Cayo District, the home of B.N.E.”

Total revenue is eight hundred and forty-three point six million. Expenditure is at eight hundred and ninety million. And despite a forty-six point four million dollars deficit, the P.M. remains optimistic.

Dean Barrow

“We have been successful. We are buoyed by a two point four percent G.D.P. growth for the year that’s ending and a forecast of three percent for 2011-2012. In the circumstances Mister Speaker, you will forgive me if the tone of this beginning reflects a degree of satisfaction, but pretty much all that we undertook to do last year has been done.  We project that the fiscal outturn will only be slightly lower than the approved budget. We project that at the end of the current fiscal year, we will have achieved a primary surplus of one point seven three percent of G.D.P. and an overall deficit of two point four-four percent of G.D.P. Both indicators are within one half of a percentage point of the budget estimates. This overall deficit of sixty-nine point two million and the amortization requirement of a further sixty point nine million are projected to be financed by fifty-two point five million in external loan disbursements and seventy-seven point six million drawn from the domestic banking system. Revenue Performance: total revenue is projected at seven hundred and thirty-nine point eight million or some forty-nine point three million below the budgeted figure. The shortfall is largely in taxes on goods and services estimated to come in at some thirty-two point one million below budget. This is notwithstanding the increase in rates of the general sales tax which took effect at the beginning of the fiscal year. The gap is due in part to the widening of the zero rated basket of consumer goods. But also to a decline in taxable imports. On the other hand, taxes on income and profits were essentially on target reflecting a strong performance from, again Mister Speaker, the local petroleum sector. Income taxes from this sector alone amounted to forty-five point three million dollars with a further sixteen point four million estimated from related royalties, production sharing and working interest inflows. Taxes on international trade and transactions are projected at one hundred and sixty-three point five million or seven percent below budget; primarily due to a seven point seven million dollar fall in import duties. Capital revenue is expected to come in at four point one million compared to a budgeted figure of four point eight million—and this revenue comes mostly from purchases of crown land under leasehold arrangements.”

The Grant portion of budget is expected to increase to fifty-four point three million in the coming year. However, twenty million U.S. was lost from Taiwan, but Russia is now giving Belize millions.

Dean Barrow

“For the upcoming fiscal year, we are being greatly helped by new grant resources in the sum of U.S. twenty million dollars under an economic corporation program we have initiated with the Russian Federation. This is an exciting development marking the start of an outreach to a country that has not traditionally been within our foreign policy contemplation. I have been invited and plan to travel in June to Moscow for discussion on ways to further strengthen this fledgling framework for their bilateral support of Belize.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

The House meeting concluded in the afternoon. Several bills were tabled for a first or second reading. Notably, an amendment was introduced to the Firearms Act to provide for the registration of bullet proof vests. When the amendment was first introduced, it provided for persons to be remanded if found in possession of the bullet proof vest.  A bill to amend the Supreme Court of Judicature Act was also tabled to restrict magistrates to release persons convicted of drug trafficking offences.

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2 Responses for “2011-2012 Budget with $46.4 Million deficit”

  1. ivan says:

    this PM barrow promised that fuel prices would not pass the $7 price now its nearly $11,and going up,when will he abide to his promis? things had out ya,

  2. Lucas says:

    This administration should be renamed: THE BORROW GOVT. and the superbond as the HUMONGOUS BOND. The little man on the street and the cook can give Mr. Borrow ideas on how to fix the economy but the problem is, apart from being stubborn, he is too proud to get off his high horse. Remember the answer he gave when questioned about the possibility of govt. ministers finding other modes of transportation?. He said that it was beneath dignity if a minister did not have his own transportation. Yea. they want us to make all sort of sacrifices but they are willing to make none. Screw us all as long as they have the good life at the expense of the poor taxpayer.

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