We also asked the Right Honorable Said Musa for a comment on the recent increase of fuel prices and, in general, the increasing cost of living.
Said Musa, Former Prime Minister of Belize: “Fuel is a really dangerous product not only in terms of it’s volatility but also in terms of it’s effect that it has on the entire economy, particularly on the productive sector, all the farmers are affected by it, all the taxi drivers; everybody in fact depends on fuel, the cost of goods depend on fuel as well because that is what drives the engines of the productive sector. So a government has to be far more careful in terms of how you handle this fuel issue. Now the days of the bonanza it seems to be over now or the PetroCaribe an all that and I was very disturbed to hear the Prime Minister say he can’t reduce the fuel tax because he needs it for the rest of the economy- find something else man. Find something else to tax but you have to be careful with the fuel and I think it was Honorable Julius Espat made a very good comment; every now and then we have to carry out tax reform because it has to remain a very important issue for any economy to move forward and we are really in serious trouble looking at the IMF report. All the talk about solving the superbond problem blah blah blah IMF is saying no such thing, in fact it’s worse 100% of our GDP is now eaten up with debt that is a very serious situation.”
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has asked the Government to review and reshape its fuel tax strategy and reduce excise duties.