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Sep 22, 2011

The economy of Independence 2011; P.M. says outlook good

Unlike previous years, there were no daggers drawn between the leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister on Independence Day.  In his address, John Briceño focused on the work and vision of George Price. After declaring the day of the state funeral for Price, a public and bank holiday, the PM Dean Barrow launched what sounded like a pre-election speech. News Five’s Jose Sanchez has a report.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The official launching of the Independence celebrations took place at the foot of the National Assembly Building. The PM began by saluting the passing of national hero George Price with a national holiday.

Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“I begin by acknowledging the pall cast by the death of Belize’s first National Hero, the Rt. Hon. George Price. And I want to announce right away that, in his honor, next Monday, the day of the state funeral, is being declared a National holiday.”

And after speaking about the thirty years of independence, the PM discussed the economy. First quarter growth at six percent and a subdued second quarter will result in a year growth of no less than three percent.

Dean Barrow

“And even those costive scrooges at the International Monetary Fund have been obliged to concede that “Belize is weathering the financial crisis relatively well, when compared with CARICOM peers.” There is a mix of factors responsible for our economic growth and high export earnings from our production of crude oil is one. But, what is far more sustainable, our job-creating tourism star is firmly in the ascendant. Thus, there was a six point seven percent increase in second quarter overnight visitors to Belize, anchored by a sixteen percent jump in the month of April. And for the first half of this year, hotel revenues rose by seventeen point eight percent.”

Top it off with Central Bank’s confirmation of no inflation in 2010 to contribute to cost of living, Barrow then promised infrastructural developments and a smooth cross-country ride via multilateral development and lending agencies.

Dean Barrow

“The improvement of the Northern road network to paving standards proceeds apace with the recent award of the contract for the resurfacing that is taking place between Orange Walk Town and Progresso. And the second phase of the project going in the other direction to Blue Creek, and between the villages of San Lazaro and August Pine Ridge, is to start shortly.  In the South the work on the Punta Gorda to Jalacte road is well in hand. And in the West the contract is out to tender now for 10 million dollars worth of approach roads that will be built. This is in connection with the new Macal River crossing to replace the Hawkesworth Bridge. And it is only the first component in what is, altogether, a fifty million dollar project. Our friend President Calderón and the Mexican Government have confirmed that it is fifteen million dollars that will be spent on their gift to us, the reconstruction of the Belize City Center. The ten million dollar IDB loan for drainage works and street repairs on the north side of Belize City has already been signed, and the actual commencement will be by year’s end. Everything that we do in housing is free. We provide grants, not loans. This is because poor people-with the best will in the world-cannot repay loans except at an intolerable cost to themselves. We are witness to this even now as there are more than nine thousand two hundred historical loans currently on the books at the Ministry of Housing. The weight of these is taxing the loan recipients to perdition; but no more. Government has decided that it will write off each and every single one of those loans at a total cost of around sixty-two point six million dollars.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

The address was hammered home with the promise of land without the bureaucratic trimmings. A million dollars is being spent on a new land management system that should eliminate a lot of the current chokeholds. And land is being identified in every district for survey and subdivision into house lots. Government promised to award these to first-time owners by way of immediate freehold title, and at a price not to exceed a thousand dollars.

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9 Responses for “The economy of Independence 2011; P.M. says outlook good”

  1. Rod says:

    Nothing but empty promises from this pm what about crime barrow what about crime this is killing the country and not one statement about crime you are a total failure at this job resign resign.

  2. BELIZE first. says:

    dean barrow is lone lone mouth,EMPTY PROMISES….BELIZEANS NO BELIZE IN HIM ANYMORE..DA FOOL D TALK BUT DA NO FOOL D LISTEN.

  3. ivan cal says:

    dean barrow is lone lone mouth,EMPTY PROMISES….BELIZEANS NO BELIZE IN HIM ANYMORE..DA FOOL D TALK BUT DA NO FOOL D LISTEN.

  4. O.Walk observer says:

    First of all the funds that is building the Orange Walk to San Lazaro to Blue Creek Highway is from the European fund thru Free Trade and not Government. Now his proposal to strike off all Government Housing Loans is a political gimmick and stupid financial decision; government had to borrow at an interest in order to provide those loans and who in his right mind will lend Belize money in order to re-pay that? He will only sink Belize further into Deficit just for political mileage. Wouldn’t it have been easier to reduce fuel prices so that each and everyone would benefit from this; maybe strike off income tax or reduce import duties. Not even the rich countries would do something like this; THIS IS A REAL STUPID MOVE WHERE LATER ON THE WORKING CLASS SHALL BE TAXED ADDITIONALY!!!

  5. Corozal Queen says:

    National Holiday..but Belize City schools have to go line up from Faber’s Road junction..student and teacher get it again. These poor students are already tired and sunburn from 21st September Parade. Give them a break

  6. Jobless says:

    How in the world does He expect to pay for all those promises? He will try to tell us about jobs He has created by nationalizing BTL and BEL. TAXATION is how you pay for it. Remove the import tax on oil coming in and tax the oil going out!!! Create and enviornment where Belizeans can have confidence and invest their mulas in buisness that create jobs and see a just return on their investments!

  7. Jobless says:

    How in the world does He expect to pay for all those promises? He will try to tell us about jobs He has created by nationalizing BTL and BEL. TAXATION is how you pay for it. Remove the import tax on oil coming in and tax the oil going out!!! Create and enviornment where Belizeans can have confidence and invest their mulas in buisness that create jobs and see a just return on their investments!

  8. Jobless says:

    How in the world does the PM intends to pay for all those promises. TAXATION is the only way. He will want to tell you he has created jobs by nationalizing BEL and BTL. Remove import tax on oil coming in and increase tax on oil going out . Create an enviornment where Belizeans have confidence to invest their mulas and create jobs. Fuel prices is KILLING every buisness in the country especially BEL.

  9. San Pedro says:

    Is there anyway to follow up on all this? Would my DFC housing loan be fully paid off? Who do I contact?

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