By Zoila Palma: This morning on Open Your Eyes, Lord Michael Ashcroft spoke on the critical economic situation that Belize is facing and the proposed 10% salary cut to public officer wages.
Ashcroft said the question now is what path Belize should take going forward.
“There is no point in running away from the fact that the economy is in serious condition…. It is not possible to balance the budget as it stands and something has to break,” Ashcroft said.
Ashcroft said that while he sympathizes with civil servants, he thinks that-that is a measure that should now be taken.
“The Government looks at its expenditures, specifically the wages of civil servants is a major component of that and trying to address that and the consequences and reactions to that measure. I do have sympathy for civil servants but I do think this measure should now be taken,” Ashcroft said.
In addition, Ashcroft said that another question raised is if Belize should enter a program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“There is fear about entering an IMF program but it should be considered if Belize puts forward its red lines for example the country is not prepared to devalue its currency because through the program there is access to expertise, financing and donors,” Ashcroft added.
In relation to the IMF, Ashcroft also said that the one word that comes to mind is ‘retrenchment’.
“We are not faced with the best of choices, but with the least worst alternative. There will always be critics of every move but then we find that we cannot get out of this economic mess and investments in the country ranks poorly,” Ashcroft expressed.