Posted: Friday, February 10, 2023. 3:54 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Christopher Coye, addressed the issue of Government borrowing in the context of the loan motions brought to the Senate during today’s meeting.
He reminded that domestic borrowing rose from $350 million to $1.3 billion between 2008 and 2021, as a result of lifting limits on bonds and treasury bills; by contrast, the Government since 2020 has only borrowed $15 million locally according to Coye.
In the matter of external debt, the Government added $940 million between 2008 and 2020 for a total of $2.89 billion. Since 2020, that has been reduced to $2.73 million after falling as low as $2.68 billion at the end of 2021, resulting in a reduction of $200 million even before factoring in the planned Venezuela (Petrocaribe) debt discount of an estimated quarter billion Belize dollars. He added that the national debt reflects disbursements on loans, not the figures approved at the National Assembly.
But Senator Michael Peyrefitte, representing the Opposition, insisted that this is another $66 million added on that Belizeans will have to pay back and that it is necessary to know all the facts beforehand and to be clear about what we are borrowing for.
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