Try though they might, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight was typically blunt in speaking to reporters today at the conclusion of consultations on the budget with the unions. And Belizeans should get ready for possible increases in taxes – it is something, he said, that is “inevitable.” But where will Government look to for possible increases – and how will it balance issues of expenditure cuts that the society is demanding? Waight answered the tough questions in an interview.
Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary
“No, we can’t rule out – there’s very likely to be a tax increase. What the components are, we don’t know just yet; this is the process we are going through, but at this point in time it is inevitable that there will be increases in some taxes. We are trying to see what items can least impact the economy but at the same time generate the resources needed. There are some rigidities in the expenditure profile – wages, transfers, interest payments, pensions – those things are very hard to compress, leaving what may be more compressible may be goods and services; and you go back to the usual things – fuel, utility usage, and also procurement; more efficient procurement of goods and services for the Government of Belize. But there’s a small menu of things you can really look at to squeeze down expenditure because there is so much rigidity in the system.”