By Aaron Humes: Cabinet has announced that it intends to keep a cap on diesel and regular gasoline fuel prices through a fuel price stabilization fund to be established by the government with the Central Bank of Belize.
A reduction of excise taxes on diesel by 57 percent has stabilized the price at $13.41 per gallon. Despite the estimated loss of more than $30 million annually in taxes, the Government says that is preferable to having prices rise as high as $15.54 per gallon if the $2.13 in taxes was applied. Regular fuel stands at $13.50 per gallon. No cap was directly announced for either premium gasoline or kerosene.
While bus fare increases are expected, the Executive says it will “target support to alleviate” them with a fuel subsidy of 91 cents per gallon for eligible bus operators for up to six months, costing a further $1.1 million, while tour operators will receive a capped fuel subsidy jointly funded by the Government and the Belize Tourism Board valued at $1.5 million.
As reported last week by Transport Minister Rodwell Ferguson, expected fare hikes will run from 25 cents for distances under 12 miles; 50 cents for distances between 12 and 31 miles; and a dollar for distances more than 31 miles. It is noted that this is well below the level of increases asked for by bus operators.
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