A billion more in debt! Legacy forecasts

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

Belize needs structural reforms to avoid racking up another $1 billion in debt, according to projections made by financial advisory firm, Legacy Fund Ltd.
On Thursday, Legacy, in collaboration with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), held its quarterly meeting with the private sector, and explained that the country has been continuously borrowing to compensate for budgetary shortfalls.

Ervin Perez, managing director at Legacy Fund, said that the company compared the Government of Belize’s revenue against its expenditures for the last 22 years and determined that the country ran on a deficit within that time.
Perez added that the government’s Current Account Balance, which measures the difference between export revenues and import expenditures, had an average deficit of around $85 million each year.
“This goes beyond blue, red, PUP, UDP or any political party,” Perez said.

“If we don’t make the structural changes, we’ll be right back here three years from now, worrying about debt servicing and thinking about defaulting.”
He added that a major priority for Belize is to decrease the disparity between imports and exports, and increase revenue collection.

The quarterly meeting also gave the private sector a history of the Superbond, and other pertinent information about the economy.
Perez divided that presentation into five sections entitled: “History of the 2038 Bond – how we got here”; “Present Economic Conditions”; “Current Bond Status”; “The Way Forward”; and “Super Bond III.”

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