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Feb 11, 2009

…And addresses soaring cost of living

But what about the soaring cost of living, which has gone up by an average of six point four percent? This is one area that Belizeans have for months been expressing major concerns. The PM admittedly was unaware why prices had increased.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“I really am unclear as to what is happening. I’m not going to try to blame merchants. I simply don’t know.”

Marion Ali
“But for those dishonest merchants who continue to either use their scale to cheat people of weights or to add on a few cents here and there when it’s unnecessary. What’s government doing, how can you keep them under control?”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“Well, I think a couple of charges and prosecutions, show trials if you will, will have the right effect so again it comes back down to the Ministry of Economic Development and Consumer Protection having to step up the efforts to do the monitoring functions, do to the policing.”

Barrow also estimates the prices of locally produced corn, beans and rice will go down in about a month. That is as a direct result of the decrease in fuel prices. But it will take a while longer before Belizean housewives see a drop in the price of locally produced flour. That’s because of the high-priced contracts that importers of wheat share with their foreign counterparts.

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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