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Feb 20, 2017

“Nothing is Off the Table,” Prime Minister Concludes On New Taxes

Dean Barrow

While the Super Bond is very much a pressing issue, the Barrow Administration is also preparing for its annual budget presentation, ahead of the 2017 fiscal year.  Described by Prime Minister Barrow as a mild recession, there are serious concerns about Belize’s economic stability, particularly the very real possibility of tax increases.  The idea, says the Minister of Finance, is consolidation, strengthening the local economy by collecting more revenue and applying other belt-tightening measures.


Isani Cayetano

“The matter of the upcoming budget, there has been serious concerns with regards to where we stand in terms of the present state of the economy and what is to come in the months ahead, particularly at the beginning of the fiscal year.  What are we looking at?”


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We are looking at, we haven’t made any secret of it, we are looking at fiscal consolidation.  The Financial Secretary has, I believe, told you that that fiscal consolidation, the target of that process is to try and achieve a three percent turnaround.  The big question is how we do that.  Clearly by a mix of better and increased revenue collection and spending cuts, but the devil, of course, is always in the details and we have not yet reached a point where even we have finalized those details so I can’t take it beyond that at this juncture.”


Isani Cayetano

“Is it safe to say though, I think Belizeans would want to know definitively, whether or not there will be tax increases going forward?  Can you specify or can you speak to that directly?”


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Nothing is off the table.  As I said we have to find ways of increasing the revenue and while, to some extent, that process has to be driven by better collection efforts of course we can’t rule out the distinct possibility that there will have to be some new measures that might look at moving some of the pressure points.  I’m not trying to be cute, I’m not trying to conceal anything from the public but it is the fact that I can’t say too much more because we are still grappling with this very complex process and I might end up misspeaking, telling you something that as we continue our exercise we have to depart from.  So I’ll leave it at what I just said.”

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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1 Response for ““Nothing is Off the Table,” Prime Minister Concludes On New Taxes”

  1. Mike G. says:

    In other words, “We’re SCREWED! What happens when a country goes bankrupt? It won’t be good for sure.

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