Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2016. 11:55 am CST.
By Charles Leslie Jr. :Now, imagine, if you will, that we had an administration focused on building Belizeans, instead of burdening them with debt, and squeezing more and more taxes for those debts, from fewer and fewer Belizeans.
We should take some of that 1.3 billion they are looking to “print”, and set up a team, such as Mexico did with FONATUR (Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo, National Fund for Tourism Development – formerly known as INFRATUR) and go into Southern Belize and identify small business and niche business possibilities, and help these businesses grow with technical assistance and affordable capital.
I would have made sure that the void that Harvest Caye would have obviously caused, in ships going to Harvest Caye more than Belize City, was addressed before I, as the Minister of Tourism, gave my stamp of approval to NCL and Harvest Caye project.
Heredia now states, after the fact, “we are already looking at alternative companies, cruise companies that want to come to Belize.” This is the hallmark of the UDP administration decision-making protocols, it seems – the cart on top of the horse, and then kick the horse in the face, repeatedly. Of course, that only happens if the horse is Belizean. If the horse is anything but, they get all the ‘accommodation’ they need and more.
TIME TO BAIL OUT OUR FELLOW BELIZEANS
Godwin Hulse, you and the UDP administration’s efforts seem commendable for holding Norwegian Cruise Line to their promise of providing Belizeans jobs and opportunities on Harvest Caye.
However, what is needed is an effort to help the Belizean business owners who seem to be getting no incentives, no help from the government. Thousands of Belizean business owners are being harassed by the tax department, their businesses on the brink of collapsing due to high operational costs, and threats of foreclosures because of usury, and zero banking regulations in Belize.
I call on the UDP administration and the Opposition PUP to support a moratorium on bank foreclosures, and call on the GOB to use that same money that GOB is “seeking to print more Belizean dollars to the tune of $1.3 billion” to pay Ashcroft, and use this money through the National Bank of Belize to buy out these bank foreclosures, pennies on the dollar. Our Belizean brothers and sisters need to be bailed out.
If we can give Santander, NCL, Belize Bank etc, 20 + years tax holidays, the least we can do is bail out our fellow Belizeans. You have my full support to use my tax dollars to do that.
PTGA. NOW YOU KNOW.
Minister Heredia, I understand that you want to bring “quality service” to your constituency. That is respectable.
The only thing I will say about the “Couriering of Visa Stickers” is to point out to the Placencia Tour Guide Association, and many locals in Placencia, who have been concerned about the influx of foreigners, who keep getting a work permit, even though the Placencia Village Council denies them. Now you know.
QUALITY SERVICE? PROVE IT.
First instance: San Pedro has 3 slums. There have been several murders this year alone. Time to clean up those slums Minister of Tourism. Poverty is the worse form of violence against human beings.
Second instance: Placencia tourism stakeholders, this is an opportune time to call on Minister Heredia to lobby the Cabinet to finish the paving of the last two miles of road, from the airport to the point of Placencia. After all, they collect millions and millions every year in taxes. The least they can do is spend a million per mile. This will certainly increase the quality of the tourism product for Placencia.
Third Instance: Pave the main street of Hopkins Village. They deserve it. That is one of the most beautiful coastal villages in all of Belize, and is “rising” as a “related search term” in Google Trends for people who also search for “Belize.” Let’s make our tourism products, truly second to none.
Merry Christmas, and let’s stop imagining, it’s time to “Realize The Possibilities”
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
The article was written by Charles Leslie Jr., former independent Chairman of Placencia Village (2010 – 2013). He holds an Associates degree in business, accounting and economics and has over 20 years business experience.
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