OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL THE REAL GOB CHRISTMAS CHEER

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Tuesday December 11th,2018

Without any warning to Belizeans, the government-controlled Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) announced this afternoon that if approved by the government-controlled Public Utilities Commission (PUC), effective January 1, 2019, the cost of electricity will go up once again. This effectively means that the cost of electricity will increase across the board.

The People’s United Party (PUP) views this as a shameful act of duplicity on the part of both the Government of Belize and BEL. Just months ago, BEL had requested an increase of 7.1% in the cost per kilowatt hour, and the PUC approved a 6.24% increase which should have been in effect for 2 years. Now, just five months after, BEL is requesting another increase.

 

Belizeans have been forced to pay more in electricity bills in the past year, not only because of the increase in the cost per kilowatt hour, but because in 2018, GOB lowered the tax-threshold on electricity bills. To subject Belizeans to yet another increase in the cost of electricity would be unfair and can only be considered as undue hardship when the cost of living is already too high.

It is ludicrous that on one hand, the Government of Belize can offer $25,000 to their Ministers as a form of Christmas Cheer, and immediately thereafter, suggests taxing ALL Belizeans through an increase in electricity bills! It is a fact that a rise in the cost of electricity affects every single Belizean and every sector in the country.

The PUP calls on the Government of Belize to explore cost-cutting measures both in its own operations and in outlandish expenditures before trying to tax Belizeans once again. It is a shame that Ministers and UDP cronies live as if we are a first-world country, while ‘normal’ Belizeans continue to foot the bill.

—Ends—

Contact: Linsford Castillo

Secretary General

Email: [email protected]