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Jun 17, 2005

Cordel: G.O.B. favours Bowen over poor

Story PictureThe only member to speak on the amendments to the brewery act was the representative for Lake Independence, Cordel Hyde, who maintained that the taxes should be increased to a much higher level than the government proposed today.

Cordel Hyde, Area Rep., Lake Independence
?Raise the excise tax on beer to twelve dollars, tax the beer before you send home public officers, tax the beer before you tax the poor. But whatever the reasons, the Government, Madam Speaker, has been pussyfooting around the issue. The government can collect upward of twenty-five million dollars from the beer tax if they raise it to twelve dollars, but they prefer to collect thirteen million dollars. Government needs to revenue, but as usual it is the poor who will foot the bill. Madam Speaker, the government has said that it is planning a quote unquote review of the tax system to make it more broad-based, a review that most Belizeans believe will result in more taxes on the most convenient victims: the working poor, the disadvantaged and the middle classes, those who can least afford another penny in taxes. Madam Speaker, in this bill the Government is saying forget about social justice and equity, forget about the poor, we need the money but we can?t tax the rich… But poor Mr. Barry, he can?t afford it. The rest of us are fools you see. Madam Speaker, I cannot support this beer tax, it just does not go far enough.?

Prime Minister Said Musa
?Madam Speaker it is become very clear today that the Opposition?s work is being done for it… by others. Democracy is in full bloom in this House today. But you know if you can?t stand the heat you must get out of the kitchen.?

Hikes were also approved today for an increase in stamp duty on land transfers, taking it from ten percent up to fifteen percent for transfers by foreigners. Citizens from Commonwealth countries will also no longer be able to enjoy the same rate as Belizeans due to an adjustment which restricts this benefit to CARICOM nationals only, in the spirit of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy.

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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