Wealthy Land Owners need more time to save 90 Million
Dec 4, 2019
That fateful August 2019 Day when the UDP attempted to write-off a little more than 40K for the Cabinet Secretary’s son, the UDP also introduced the writing off of 90 million dollars to wealthy land owners. Given the uproar, the Prime Minister sent out a technocrat to explain that the Prime Minister was not really infallible and that there wasn’t really a write off. Well as we all know, if you do not need to pay off a bill or part of a bill to the government then it is a write off.
The euphemism given to this write-off was Partial Remission of Land Tax Arrears Programme which was originally scheduled to last six months. Big Landowners, who owe land taxes, will be able to settle or manage arrears during a time span of six months which Hugo Patt found it difficult to count with his fingers. This past October, a statutory instrument was gazetted which extends the programme to June first instead of April 2020, thus granting undeserving landowners additional time. At the December 4 House meeting, Opposition Leader John Briceño asked Patt why there was the need to extend the deadline into the new fiscal year. The bill, however, has the deadline as April, beyond the new fiscal year. When the Opposition Leader John Briceño asked Minister Patt about it, he admitted there was a mistake.
Hugo Patt, Minister of Natural Resources: “The actual programme started in October so that we are asking for an extension to meet the sixth month period that was originally scheduled. So we are looking at the start of November and we are targeting the end of the fiscal year.”
John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition:“But this is saying six months.”
Hugo Patt(counting with fingers): “Six months: October, November December, January, February and March.”
John Briceño: “This is saying commencing the first of December so this will go all in the way of May of next year.”
Hugo Patt: “No, we have just moved, actually that would have been a typo mistake. It’s effective the first of October to end in the fiscal year of March.”
John Briceño: “So April will not be included?”
Hugo Patt: “Not be included.”
John Briceño: “It is a massive typo, typing error that they made.”
Hugo Patt: “It will end in the fiscal year of March.”
All in all, Hugo Patt, in this house meeting, was far from having the brash persona he claimed to have during his speech at John Saldivar’s convention. Patt was the epitome of what we have been claiming incessantly; the UDP is incompetent and they can only succeed at corrupting every government process aimed at helping the Belizean people.
Hugo is at the top of the hotbed of corruption, the lands department, so his mobile lands program needed more to keep its bad name so they decided to write off 90 million dollars that they are inept at collecting or wish not to collect. They attempt to hide this by changing the name of the indecent process and when the wealthy landowners cannot find the time to come as save themselves the few dollars the UDP gives them more time. Who does that? The UDP does!!