Coupled with today’s budget reading, the Government unveiled its Medium Term Recovery Plan . The plan includes four essential steps which form a carefully calibrated composite for Recovery Plan. The aim is to reduce spending, enhance revenue, implement a comprehensive debt restructuring and achieve above-average economic expansion. Prime Minister John Briceno explained today an order has been given to enforce revenue collections.
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “A correlative to this cost curtailment step is the drastic reduction in this Budget of spending on goods and services, which is being slashed by $78 million compared to the previous budget. A second step is the reduction in interest payments which for this budget is being programmed at some $53 million less than what was allotted for the previous fiscal year. I have already addressed that subject of public debt management, in a substantial fashion, earlier in my presentation.
The third step must be the augmentation of revenues. As Government and the Joint Unions have agreed, this can be achieved first by sparing no effort to collect current taxes from all sources from whom such taxes are due, and simultaneously, by ensuring that legitimate, outstanding taxes are recovered immediately.
Whether current tariffs will suffice, without the need for incremental revenue measures, will depend on those who pay and those who collect. To those who evade the tax system, thereby imposing a disproportionate burden on the rest, I signal today, without hesitation, that the state’s enforcement agencies will hereafter adopt a muscular approach to revenue collection and enforcement.”