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Dec 28, 2015

G.O.B. Increases Import Duties on Fuel…Pump Prices Spike

At midnight on Sunday, officially, pump prices for diesel, regular and premium fuel increased – diesel by eighty-one cents a gallon, regular by ninety-seven cents a gallon and premium by seventy-two cents a gallon. The thing is…world oil prices continue to trend downwards, resulting in lower fuel costs worldwide…but not in Belize. So what’s the explanation? Well it’s really quite simple. G.O.B. has decided to increase the import duties on premium, regular and diesel fuel. That increase in duties has been added to what G.O.B. says is an increase in Cost, Insurance and Freight of the latest shipment, and that accounts for the very sharp increase in pump prices today. The bad news came in the form of a press release today, hours after it was felt at pumps countrywide. We got it officially from Financial Secretary Joseph Waight early this morning.


Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“The price of gas went up for two reasons, there was a small adjustment upward in the CIF price, I think for one of the products but the major contributing factor the government did out in an increase on the import duty on the fuel it’s a fiscal measure. The import duty increased to about sixty-five cents per US gallon for both premium and diesel while for regular I think the increase was fifty-seven cents. We will be issuing a press release a little late giving you the final pump prices, the final tariffs so yes it was a fiscal measure an increase in the import duty.”


Mike Rudon

“So just to clarify this has nothing to do with acquisition cost at this time?”


Joseph Waight

Joseph Waight

“Well there is a small factor of acquisition cost but the larger factor was import duty and fuel.”


Mike Rudon

“Now we have to ask what caused this measure; because for years government have stanchly advocated against increasing duty on fuel.”


Joseph Waight

“Well indeed but on the other hand the story is that we had to do a compensatory measure increase of revenue because of the lower income from the local oil industry. Local oil production has gone way down; we are not getting the same level of revenue. This was a compensatory measure to try to stabilize the compensatory accounts.”


Mike Rudon

“Do you all expect some type of public outcry from this?


Joseph Waight

“Yes, nobody likes a price increase, I am a consumer myself and I don’t like that, we do anticipate that there will be a lag before the world oil prices, we feel the effect of that and prices will stabilize at about seven, eight dollars a gallon.”


Mike Rudon

“Would we be able to anticipate maybe other moves like this, like fuel is trending down as we speak, perhaps in  2016 it is expected to trending down somewhat. Can we expect another move like this, maybe an increase in import duty down the line?”


Joseph Waight

“I don’t think so, let’s hope not.”


Mike Rudon

“Is it a situation that the economy is taking a hit or is not as in great straits as it was earlier this year?”


Joseph Waight

“Well the growth projections for 2016 are moderate, we do have some difficulties in our productive sector, agriculture, tourism is doing well but not as well so the government has to stabilize itself.”

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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4 Responses for “G.O.B. Increases Import Duties on Fuel…Pump Prices Spike”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    but i thought they said and shouted “better is yet to come” or not? You got what you wanted folks wait for the better part to come en petro-caribe money is done.

  2. Truth says:

    “The Best is Yet to come” PM Words says it all… another 5 years of dementia and mockery

  3. farmer from the North says:

    Crap! Petrocaribe done, so Government has to find some way to make money!!

  4. Bornhero says:

    The trust that the people put on UDP admistration will dissipate
    So much due to moves like this; let me say the import duty has been already high
    That means the GOB is living above its means and sadly at the coast of the poor Belizean people.
    No Man dad d ras now!!!!

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