Government Implements Price Controls in Response to Rising Cost of Living
The high cost of living has been a topic of discussion for some time now. The Government of Belize, in an attempt to help Belizeans deal with the rising costs of goods and services, has mobilized a number of interventions including new price control regulations on thirty commonly used products. The government is also closely monitoring reports of price gouging by retailers. But do these measures bring any reprieve to the Belizean people? Love News polled ten people at the 2023 Belize Market Expo to find out their thoughts on the cost of living. Here’s what some of them had to say.
Resident: “Well I’ll probably complain like everybody else. When you go to the shop either the price doesn’t go down it’s going up so people wait for events like these to ascertain what is the difference at the store and what is the difference they get when they come to purchase at the expo.”
Resident: “The cost of living here in Belize is super high. I remember back in my days when I was younger I could have gone to the store with fifty dollars and come out with a lot of things. Now I go to the store fifty dollars is nothing. So I can’t imagine how somebody that just earns a a two hundred dollars for the week survives out here because everything is expensive. Fuel is expensive, the cost of rice, chicken is expensive even beans is expensive these days.”
Resident: “The cost of living is very exuberant, it’s very high. So I have a job what about those that don’t have any ?”
Resident: “Very high. Ridiculous. For example to make a Sunday dinner that is almost like a hundred dollars for five plates of Sunday dinner. Now it’s actually easier for you to buy four plates of food and you have food to eat at home that is only forty dollars so that is telling you it right there.”
Resident: “The way how the cost of living is going I mean me as a retired it’s a little rough on me because I’m only getting a pension every month but with working full time then I will see things a little bit better. The government we need to open our eyes and we need to open our voices and just make a big cry out and just ask the government to try especially gas, gas is very high right now at a very high rate and right now a lot of people have been suffering from this gas prices and right now we can’t even have sugar, no flour.”
And while the consensus was that the cost of living is high, some of the attendees were more hopeful than others on their ability to manage under these conditions. One entrepreneur even shared his way of dealing with high living costs.
Resident: “It’s too high but we got to live with it. At least the city we don’t have a lot of killing and everything. But it’s hard but we still live. We have to eat. Our kids have to eat. Still live on a level right now the the country is good right now.”
Resident: “Very high. Hand to mouth but we survive.”
Resident: “Well the cost of living is high but nevertheless we will bear with it and thing slike this the expo gives us a little relief to get a deal on our buck.”
Resident: “To be honest it’s high. Everything is expensive. Each month I go to the shop go to the store the price raises on usual stuff that I usually buy so I find I have to try to stretch the little money to see how far I can stretch it but so far I am surviving. Thank God.”
Resident: “The cost of living is rough and it’s high but we can still get through it no? We have a job and thing and try to maneuver, not overspend and those things like that then you will maneuver through it.”
Resident: “For me I work hard enough that the cost of living doesn’t truly affect me. I don’t want to sound too cocky about that but I am a 4AM kind of guy. I sleep late and so I spend a lot of my hours working to make sure things happen. “
Reporter: So your solution to the cost of living is.
Resident: “Work harder.”
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is holding meetings with the government to discuss the price control regulations and the impact it has on the private sector. The chamber stresses that it has research data that proves price control regulations are not the best means to combat high inflation.