Government of Belize presents Budget to parliament

Prime Minister John Briceño of Belize presented a budget for the nation worth BDZ$1.51 billion to its parliament on Friday, highlighting the fact that no new taxes have been added to it, in concurrence with the last three fiscal packages the nation has seen.

Government of Belize presents Budget to parliament

Prime Minister John Briceño of Belize presented a budget for the nation worth BDZ$1.51 billion to its parliament on Friday, highlighting the fact that no new taxes have been added to it, in concurrence with the last three fiscal packages the nation has seen.

According to projections that the government has received from the Ministry of Finance, the total amount of BDZ$1.51 billion which has been allocated consists of BDZ95.29 million dollars in non-tax revenues, BDZ1.387 billion dollars in tax revenues, grants of BDZ 30 million and lastly BDZ 6 million in tax revenue.

Prime Minister John Briceño also stated that revenue collections of BDZ$365.4 million from income and profits, BDZ791.6 million from goods and services, BDZ$223.5 million from international trade and transactions and BDZ$ 7.17 million from properties is expected to be collected as well.

With regards to the expected expenditure, he stated that BDZ$1.1 billion has been set aside out of the allocated amount of BDZ$1.604 billion dollars. This amount will be used for wages, pensions, goods and services, subsidies and transfers and debt service interest costs specifically.

An amount of BDZ$430.7 million dollars has been earmarked to meet capital investment needs for the coming fiscal year.

Prime Minister John Briceño also spoke of how his government has managed to focus increasingly on projects and initiative which benefit the people of Belize directly, by bringing down the operating costs incurred by the government over the last 3 years.

He acknowledged that ministers and legislators will have their say with regards to the budget and get to discuss the finer details in due time, as is the norm. Before that through, he decided to make a case for the proposals made with in the budget when it comes to certain large capital projects such as the pipeline program and government initiatives in healthcare and education.

He added that his administration remains committed to improving the healthcare and wellness facilities in the nation, which is why significant investments are being made in the public healthcare system.

A part of this drive is the modernization assessment of hospitals in Punta Gorda, Orange Walk Town and Belize City, which are recognized as important assets to the people but require updates.

He also spoke about the education system, stating the following, “This needs assessment will be followed by project financing to implement the modernization projects. Yes, there has been a jobs bonanza, almost full employment for those who seek jobs. But our education system must prepare the society for tomorrow, even as it strives to meet the daunting challenges of today.”

Prime Minister Briceno pointed out the difficulties faced while formulating the budget, saying that it requires a discerning eye to make judgement calls as to how a limited amount of money is spent to best serve the interests of the nation.

He also thanked all those who were responsible for the budget allocated in the last fiscal year and appreciated all that has been achieved in the process, “No government is perfect, none gets everything perfect. There will be setbacks and flaws, but this administration, over the last three years of tireless work, has rekindled hope in our people.”

“We must go from strength to strength in building greater confidence in our economy; in creating more jobs, in educating more of our children, in constructing more homes…and in making our communities even safer. This budget will underwrite another superb stage of our march to deliver on #PlanBelize.”

The Prime Minister assured the parliament that the government and the nation of Belize are well equipped to deal with the challenges presented to them and make the best of what is on offer, to build a bright future.