Posted: Monday, November 15, 2021. 8:03 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Cabinet announced some days ago that with rising fuel prices, it has approved the construction of a team to look at possible mitigation measures that can be done.
Some have resorted to protest, with a group of local tour guides held a demonstration on what they say are unreasonable gas prices.
And if it all sounds familiar, that’s because it is – prices have rarely receded in recent years except for the few early months of the pandemic as world fuel prices tumbled due to less travel and demand.
But they are now on the up and that is driving world fuel prices up as well, Prime Minister John Briceño reminded.
Back in 2018, figures produced from Government records showed that Belizeans are effectively paying about 25 percent more for various fuel products, when it should be 14 percent if the profit margin is taken into consideration.
And Belize no longer benefits from the Petrocaribe initiative in which fuel is sourced from Venezuela via refineries in Curacao and the excess used to fund development projects.
The previous administration added a 1-dollar tax on fuel sales which was never removed, meaning that the tax on fuel hovers around $4 per gallon.
Prime Minister Briceño told Channel 7 News’ Jules Vasquez that with Belize’s current economic malaise, the Government is looking into reduction of costs and potentially taxes, but he warned that we will need to find money elsewhere to make up for the shortfall.
Belizeans will wait for that announcement – and perhaps cut out regular trips to the gas pump.
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