PUP wants the IMF


Last week, Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, announced that the Government of Belize was seeking to issue treasury notes to the tune of 30 million US dollars. The financing raised from the notes will be used to support Government’s balance of payments. Given the effects that COVID-19 has had on the tourism industry and the greater Belizean economy, the foreign exchange is more than necessary at this point.
While the UDP Government is looking at solutions to the dire economic conditions facing the country, the PUP, in true obstructionist fashion, on Wednesday called a press conference to say that they were not in support of the issuing of the notes. They claim that the 6.5 percent rate of return being offered to the investors is just too much. They are even so bold as to suggest that the Government go to the IMF for financial support.
Now for anyone who knows anything about economics, the IMF is the last place you want to go. Their financial support would come at too high a cost. Their 1,2,3 recipe for any country’s recovery is a simple but very bitter formula. That formula includes cutting expenditure by reducing the wage bill (read, retrenchment). They also always recommend increasing revenue by broadening the tax base (read, increase taxes). At this point in time, the worst thing that any government can do is to fire public officers. This will mean adding to the already long line of persons who are unemployed. To compound that by increasing taxes would mean that there would also be an increase to the cost of living on a population that already does not have enough money for daily survival. Yet, this is what the PUP is recommending.
For them, the easiest solution is always the best solution. While they were too quick to oppose the issuing of the treasury notes, other than recommending that we go to the IMF, they were devoid of any idea as to how to reposition the country on the road to economic recovery. This is just typical PUP, all complaints and no solutions.