Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2022. 9:00 am CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: Earlier this week, Prime Minister John Briceño held a meeting with various stakeholders to assess what can be done about the high cost of gasoline; a meeting Briceño says yielded “really constructive ideas.”
Briceño held the meeting on Wednesday, with the business community, including the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and also special interest groups such as bus owners. Briceño said that attendees at the meeting were cognizant of the economic repercussions of offering too much tax relief on fuel, noting that fuel represents between $180-$190 million in revenue to government.
He said that the stakeholders offered ideas other than tax relief, including creating a cap on the price of fuel which would see government absorbing costs if the world market prices would cause the cost of fuel to go above the cap, and raising taxes to bring the price up to the cap if world prices would cause the cost to fall below.
“I’ve asked them to send me their ideas today. We’re going to put it together and then go to cabinet with some concrete ideas as to how we can address the high price of fuel,” Briceño said on Friday.
Another recommendation was to offer targeted assistance to key industries such as agriculture, tourism and transportation, to alleviate increasing operational costs.
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