Seems that Belizeans must wait patiently while the UDP get their affairs in order, on the clock and at tax payers’ expense to boot. The Cabinet room, by all accounts, is the meeting place used, not for the discussion of the nose dive the economy is in or the urgent measures needed to avoid certain disaster. Cabinet is where the defunct UDP try to glue together their remnants while they make a mad dash to find an alpha amongst their sort.
The PM says he grieves for Belize… a country he has left moribund. He has promptly shifted his efforts and attention onto an endeavor that he considers will now yield him better returns, the task of resuscitating his party and planning his blissful retirement. To date there has been no effort to formulate or present a clear stimulus platform from which the Belizean economy might catapult forward.
The BCCI has provided a few ideas on how to keep the private sector rolling. In a final admission of how bad things will get this year the GOB in a press release stated that they expect the economy to contract by 18 percent. The BCCI say that the measures they are proposing are to ameliorate the impacts employers in the private sector face in an effort that they may be able to weather the economic crisis, retain staff and ease the increasingly heavy payroll burden. Micro financing and fuel tax relief would encourage investment and production especially in the agriculture and secondary sector and buoy up exports and foreign exchange. The simplification of regulations for the environment should be approached with singular care however. The preservation and protection of our environment must never be a tradeoff for some quick cash scheme and it has already been too much compromised as is to be risked any further.
The BCCI seems to agree with the popular belief that the high prices of fuel are in large part due to the GOB taxes on these and not due to acquisition and transportation costs. Lowering the costs of fuel would reduce the costs of production and transportation of Belizean products and services. The stimulation would increase productivity, employment, spending and ultimately taxes payable to government. This has been the advice, nay…the plea of the Belizean people that has fallen on deaf ears even before the COVID Crisis. Furthermore, the two hikes in LPG prices by the state sanctioned monopoly in the same month is especially significant. Already the consequences of the severe unemployment and the drying up of relief efforts have cause a spike in crime. LPG is an essential good used for cooking and the survival of those most affected by poverty and unemployment is now threatened by the increases in price. At least where the exorbitant taxes on fuel and LPG are concerned only the lack of political will stands in the way of relief.
To top it all off the grapevine is full of the news that the leadership convention to select the patsy will be sooner rather than later. With all the sponsored ads over social media not one of the Big Mess’ recommendations have made it to the Cabinet for consideration let alone approval. This is just another clear indication that not “all is well in the UDP.” The hurricane season is upon us bringing inclement weather and all it carries including floods and the infestation of mosquitos to compound our perilous position. It is clear that a cabinet with no foresight, no contingency plan, no stimulus package and definitely not even a single clue will not last much longer. The PM undoubtedly is busy eating his hat as his oil refinery never materialized and so we bid him Bon Appétit as well as Bon Voyage!