The latest report from the International Monetary Fund highlighted Belize’s recovering economy. It also noted a decreased in the country’s unemployment rate, while mentioning also that the rest of the year may see things moving at a slower pace. Despite the hopeful outlook presented in the IMF Consultation Report, Senator Mark Lizarraga says there are areas of serious concern.
Senator Mark Lizarraga: “Some things are very concerning of course. The fact that we continue to see our national debt so high we continue to have to borrow to have foreign exchange basically to meet our obligations to pay our debts that is a major concern. The fact that government cannot control it’s spending is another major concern even though it made commitments to curtail it’s spending. And there are many other issues that are alarming that I think we’re still missing the boat on so we continue to borrow and spend with very little oversight or no oversight we don’t have a Contractor General, the Finance and Audit Reform Act states that the details of any contract should come to parliament for us to scrutinize we still don’t get those so same things we’ve been saying all along. You know we continue to borrow and borrow and borrow and spend and spend, the cost of living goes up, taxes don’t come down the cost of things don’t come down, people are finding it harder, they claim unemployment is low but when we listened to the Minister the other day on the radio even though students are being trained for specific jobs only 75% of them are employed, now these are specifically trained people yet you still have 25% unemployment what about the hundreds and thousands of young people that have not been trained for specific jobs. So how can it be that we only have an overall unemployment rate of 7%? So many things don’t add up.”
The preliminary report was issued on October 7.