The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is seriously delusional when it suggests that the Government of Belize can raise $90 million to honour a judgement of the Caribbean Court of Justice to pay the Belize Bank by simply plugging leaks in the tax system.

Government’s chief vehicles of taxation are the General Sales Tax and the Fuel Tax. The Fuel Tax has been taken to its outer limit, and the Sales Tax, even when fine-tuned and super efficient, will not yield more than $5 or $6 million in additional revenue each year.

The Belize Bank loan, unfairly imposed on Belize by a crass and corrupt previous administration, is now more than $60 million in interest charges alone, galloping at a rate in excess of $10 million a year.
A rudimentary analysis of this loan shows that interest at 10 percent on $30 million amounts to $3 million at the end of the first year. At the end of its fifth year the interest on this loan would have grown to $18,325,300.

At the end of 10 years the accumulated interest would be 47 million, eight hundred and seventy-eight thousand dollars.
But as we all know, the accumulated interest is today more than $60 million! That is proof positive that the Belize Bank made the loan at a rate higher than 10 percent.

But the bigger implication for Belizeans is that taxpayers would need to pay out $10 million a year just to keep pace with the current interest, without reducing the debt or paying anything to bring down the accumulated $60 million in interest.

To make a dent on this monster, Belize would need to pay $20 million a year for the next ten years, and we would still be indebted and under bondage to Mr. Ashcroft and his Belize Bank.

It is clear that those who are advocating annual payments to conform with the CCJ’s ruling have not thought this matter through to its logical conclusion, namely that the Belize Bank has set up a snare to entrap Belizeans for the rest of our lives.

Belize won her political independence in 1981, but it will take us another 36 years before we achieve economic independence if we listen to what the Belize Chamber of Commerce has to say.

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