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Mar 14, 2018

P.U.P. Leader: Insatiable G.O.B. Can’t Get Enough of Taxes

John Briceño

During the budget presentation for the upcoming fiscal year, Prime Minister Barrow announced that a tax of twelve and a half percent will be added to the existing cost of data.  The increase in the form of General Sales Tax takes effect on April first and comes at the expense of all internet users, with the exception of schools that are being provided with free data services.  The move is part of government’s administrative revenue collection measures to realize an estimated twenty point five million dollars in income.  The Ministry of Finance attributes the shift from voice to data as the reason for the tax being implemented, in order to make up for lost proceeds during that transition.  So what is the response of Leader of the Opposition John Briceño, himself a stakeholder in the communications sector?  Here’s what he has to say.


John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“It’s a government that is on crack, that they cannot get enough of tax monies.  The more money they get the more they spend and the more they want and they have this insatiable appetite to collect more tax.  I’ve been talking to many businesspeople, [they say] that they have paid GST and they have lots of difficulties in getting back their tax refund, their GST refunds.  The agriculture department, the productive sector, you know, they are crying out for help, but, you know, GST has been on top of them and in many instances when they are to get their refunds it takes them six months, sometimes as much as a year, to get their refunds.  Now here the prime minister is coming, trying to find a way, he knows or he has realized that they can’t continue to tax fuel more and so now he’s trying to be creative and now has decide to tax data or access to the internet.  Maybe a few years ago the use of the internet was probably something more as a luxury, but no longer today.  Everybody needs access to the internet and the private sector, because of the competition, they have been competing, both cable companies and the telephone companies, and the prices have been going down and more and more people are having access.  Even our children that come from the richest of families to the poorest of families need access.  The prime minister has now decided that he’s going to tax that.  So here he is putting another twelve and a half percent tax on everybody, especially poor people, especially students that need access more than ever to the internet.  It is a stupid idea, an idea that should not be done and I hope that he would think about it and change his mind and remove that tax on the Belizean people when it comes to data.”

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 “P.U.P. Leader: Insatiable G.O.B. Can’t Get Enough of Taxes”

  1. asdkjer says:

    I hope when you are in office as prime minister you don`t do as they doing by rake us now !!!
    We will change this Gov. but you better think about your talks when in office also, not ONLY now.

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