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Mar 2, 2023

Government Sets Up Taskforce to Address Inflation and Price Gouging

Prime Minister John Briceño

The global issue of inflation has sharply increased the cost of supplies, as well as the cost of goods and services in Belize.  Notwithstanding government subsidies to the productive and transportation sectors, among other initiatives and achievements, the cost of living remains high and is affecting all Belizeans.  Earlier today, it was announced via cabinet brief that a sub-committee led by Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Jose Abelardo Mai has been convened to look at a short-term framework to lessen the impacts of those most affected, as well as to address what is being reported as rampant price gouging.  News Five caught up with Prime Minister John Briceño in San Estevan this morning and asked him about the newly established taskforce.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“What we did, remember Minister Mai has the responsibility of supplies control and there they have the inspectors to ensure that people are not price gouging.  But we thought that it was more than just the government to be able to do that, so what we said, we set up a taskforce with him as the head, with his technical people, but also the unions have been saying that they want to help.  They have their ideas on how we could to control price gouging.  So we said that we want to bring them in and bring them in the private sector so that we could come up with a plan that everybody would support.  Now it’s easy, some people were saying, well, reduce taxes, but reducing taxes… Most of what we bring to the table to eat doesn’t pay taxes and we import too much of our food.  So we’re importing inflation, but by eating more locally then I think we can make a difference.  So the idea is to have a team to take a look and we are hoping that, at the most within a month we should be able to get some feedback with cabinet as to what are the recommendations that they’re making to help us to be able to combat inflation, but more importantly the price gouging that many of our citizens believe is happening today.”

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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