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Apr 14, 2020

Is the Government Broke?

Revenue to government coffers has been shrinking due to COVID-19 and the state of emergency.  So is the government broke? That is the question we asked Financial Secretary Joseph Waight today. According to Waight, large departments like the Belize Tax Services and the Customs Department collecting up to thirty million dollars in revenue a month and with the revenue stream going dry, the government is looking at cost-saving measures.

 

Hipolito Novelo

“How much money would you say the government has lost in terms of revenue?”

 

On the Phone: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“Every day that we don’t operate and depending on the time of the month we lose several million dollars. The estimate is that in one month you get about thirty or forty million dollars from the two big departments, but much more from smaller department. Customs sometimes gives us thirty to thirty-five million dollars a month. GST about the same amount. Quite frankly, the collections are way, way down. Economic activity has stopped and also combined with the shutdown and quote frankly we will be lucky to get a quarter of what we would get monthly and we just don’t know how long this will last.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Is the government broke?”

 

On the Phone: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“(Laughs) Which government in the Caribbean—maybe apart from Trinidad—that is not broke at the moment. The government has a few reserved, but the problem is do you spend it all now or do you wait and see how long the storm will last.”


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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