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Jan 23, 2014

Chamber of Commerce responds to jabs made by Minister Faber

At Wednesday’s House Meeting Minister of Education Patrick Faber took jabs at the Chamber of Commerce saying that instead of writing release in support of teachers the private sector body should focus on increasing minimum wages. Well the Chamber didn’t take that lightly and came out swinging today. The Chamber decried that the private sector is over burdened with taxes that are chocking business houses. President Kay Menzies says that while the government is open to tax reform, incremental taxation is driving Belizeans across to border to develop Chetumal because of the higher cost of goods on this side of the border.


Kay Menzies, President, Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Kay Menzies

“I think the minister needs to research its numbers more carefully. We spoke to our representative at Social Security this morning and he commented on the fact that the lower wage bands have hardly any employees in them that are paying the lower social security rates. In actual fact the wage numbers have increased to the point where the higher tier-bands are attracting more employees that are contributing to the system. This suggests that the minister is absolutely incorrect. So I would suggest he go back and take a look at those numbers.  The costs are extremely high, but I think the public needs to analyze more carefully who is collecting that money. At the government’s end of things, our taxes are extremely high and we are open to discuss that anytime. We’ve been trying to discuss that with the government and to be fair the government has been open to tax reform with us. The fact is that people are shopping in Chetumal because while the price of basic goods are the same price starting out in other countries and Belize, it is the taxation that makes the difference and any careful analysis will bare us out. Again the chamber never speaks without its numbers backing it up.  To be honest with you, we have many businesses that will tell you that their struggle every month is do I pay my business tax or do I pay other bills. And GST, we are collecting on behalf of the government so it is not ours and we agree with that. The problem is that the incremental collection of taxes: producers pay excise tax, importers pay import duties and then on top of either tax, you apply GST, you apply business tax; you apply environmental tax. When you look at it collectively, the largest proportion of every dollar goes back to G.O.B. to pay those wages and to pay other bills. Now the business community accepts that it has to pay taxes. The problem is when your taxes form such a high proportion of your goods prices, your consumers naturally have to go stretch his dollar across the border. So Belize is developing Chetumal because of the high cost of goods. And there is no responsible employer that deliberately will chase people away across the border. Let’s not be ridiculous.”

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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3 Responses for “Chamber of Commerce responds to jabs made by Minister Faber”

  1. come out, kay ! says:

    hey, kay, when you gonna come out?

  2. Meandi says:

    Well said Kay! Since Faber and his cronies dont pay taxes on Fuel (using GOB vehicles) and have all his utilities paid and vacations sponsored he should be the least to open his mouth. If you live in glass houses, throw no stones Faber!

  3. Ali Baba, pimp of Belize Beano says:

    private sector is over burdened with corruption, along with the public sector.

    the rats have their claws in as many holes of the sinking ship of Belize as they can muster.

    meantime, time to steal cheese. Bon appetite you !@#$%^&*.

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