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No reprieve in sight for the nation’s high fuel prices

Vehicles owners, businesses, and persons involved in the transportation industry countrywide are all wondering when fuel prices will begin to decrease. The exorbitant cost of fuel has undoubtedly lessened the spending power of many Belizeans and has resulted in an increase in the cost of living. The good news is that the international price of fuel on the global market is beginning to decline. However, the high fuel prices in Belize may remain stagnant for an unknown period. According to CEO of Economic Development, Dr Osmond Martinez, the government needs to recover the loss of revenue it suffered from absorbing taxes on fuel and the subsidies it is providing before it can lower fuel prices.

Dr. Osmond Martinez, CEO, Min. of Finance, Economic Dev. & Investment: “I believe the fuel price will soon start to see some decrease. You know, internationally we have seen a slight decrease, no? So we are hoping that it will impact our nation sooner or later.”

Reporter: But aren’t we relying on that contingency fund and repaying that fund before we can see taxes go down? Before we can see fuel prices go down?

Dr. Osmond Martinez, CEO, Min. of Finance, Economic Dev. & Investment: “Well not necessarily but there will be some adjustments that we’ll need to make unto the fiscal budget as there were a lot of monies that were used from the contingency fund but definitely it will have to be replenished. But we will not do it overnight. Definitely there will be a formula on how to work on it.”

Reporter: So there’s no time period at this time when that fund will be replenished or how far are we along in terms of replenishing those monies?

Dr. Osmond Martinez, CEO, Min. of Finance, Economic Dev. & Investment: “We still have a long way but definitely I don’t think the Government will pass all the cost on to the consumers. It’s not that way. We understand that inflation is an issue and the Government will do everything possible to pass on this cost of fuel and to enjoy the cost of fuel to the Belizean population as soon as that benefit can come to Belize.”