Posted: Sunday, March 26, 2023. 8:48 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: A major achievement of the Government of Belize under the Briceño administration, has been the lowering of Belize’s Debt to GDP ratio from over 130 percent to just over 60 percent; however, Area Representative for the Collet constituency Patrick Faber says that unchecked borrowing could be a potential problem in the future.
Faber, speaking at the national budget debate, said that the GOB has borrowed over $400 million in just over a year, and stressed that such borrowing is unsustainable.
Faber broke down the government’s loan motions, starting from February 2022 to March 2023 as follows:
Friday, February 4, 2022- $36 million from the Inter-American Development Bank 9IDB) for the strengthening public administration; Tuesday, March 15, 2022, $16 million, another IDB loan for the strengthening public administration; Friday, March 13, 2022, $52.4 million COVID-19 response, another $50 million on March 13 for climate resiliency and sustainable agriculture; Friday, June 13, 2022, $48 million for the expansion of the Philip Goldson Highway; another $12.4 million on June 13 for COVID relief; Friday, July 15, 2022, $150 million from the bilateral cooperation programme with the Republic of China (Taiwan); Friday, December 12, 2022, $12 million financing for tertiary education; another $10 million on December 12 for MSME sustainability; Friday, February 3, 2023, $16 trade and investment development; another $20 million on February 3 for a program for a sustainable and inclusive Belize, yet another $30 million on February 3 for digital innovation to boost economic development;
March 10, 2023, $10 million Belize resilience program; and $2 million on March 10 from the Social Investment Fund (SIF) for a total of US$232.7 million or BZ$465.3 million.
“You are borrowing, borrowing, borrowing too and you must concede that that is going to land us back in the very same problems that you claim that we were in and I concede that we were in,” Faber said.
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