Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Firstly, how about passing a balanced budget amendment-they can't spend more than they take in. Reserves are critical as you mentioned for unforeseen national disasters and hardships. Another items would be to use some monies from the budget for working on infrastructure projects-most importantly roads and bridges to improve commerce and transportation. This would at least create jobs and the people hired would spend their salaries sending the money back into the economy to create more jobs. How about finally using some budget funds to make the lands department transparent with a national cadastral system. The monies earned from the sale of national lands might really go the national budget instead of to personal cronies/lands department and ministers pockets. The land title mess we are in nationally would be greatly reduced. Hey, maybe we could even get a deed upon full payment for national lands in less than 3 -15 yrs as it stands under the current system. The government could also provide tax rebate/relef incentives to companies manufacturing new products or setting up factories in Belize as long as they create a certain amount of jobs. The idea is to become more self reliant and less import reliant. Unfortunately most of the budget will go to foreign debt payments as Belize is chronically with a negative trade balance. We import more than we export. Some industries Belize could use that pay well-biotechnology (e;g; Orchid or other plant cloning for export as liners/starter plants or breeding out bad traits in plants), IT/technology, Call Service Centers, Making medicines for export. Coming from Caye Caulker I also wondered why there are no artist/dance/folkloric type troupes one can hire to perform for the tourist trade on a regular show basis to promote our culture, etc.-this could create jobs. For cost saving measures, one could cut down on the Government/Belmopan Staff in the various offices or set goals, timelines and minimum standards for all government employee jobs with how much they should accomplish in a day to be considered productive. If they can't meet their goal eliminate the position and save that salary. Just some ideas/ways and means to a balanced budget.

Sharon Urscheler SUrscheler@msn.com

Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 08:22:33 -0800
From: hillviewhacienda@yahoo.com
To: surscheler@msn.com
Subject: [Western Belize Happenings!] BUDGET CRITIQUE OF OUR UDP GOVERNMENT


What would you do if you were the CABINET and the UDP?
The critique last week went into the BORROW AND SPEND DEBT ECONOMICS POLICY OF THIS UDP GOVERNMENT, forecasting dire financial bankruptcy consequences due to poor budgetary planning.
In planning the budget for 2009, I would as a matter of course, plan for the WORST CASE SCENARIO! What kind of worse case scenario can you envisage to hit our economy of the country in 2009?
For starters, we live in HURRICANE ALLEY, right at the end. I personally would plan and allow funds to be set aside for TWO hurricane strikes. Also, we now know from experience, that with the deforestation of the nearby PETEN in Guatemala, that we can, during a monstrous rainfall, expect FLOODING. Right off the bat, any 2009 budget should have 300 million dollars set aside to ECONOMIC LOSSES that could be expected from these high probability events. A worse case scenario then for NATURAL DISASTERS would allocate funds be put in reserve to recover from such events and economic losses.
The next thing, our economy is a bit diversified, but our economy is based on remittances, bananas, sugar, fisheries, oil and agriculture in general. We could assume therefore, due to outside world events over which we have no control, we could lose one of these pillars of our government and economic revenues. So, it is only wise to set aside some reserves to cover the economic losses if we were to lose one of our economic legs that support our nation and government costs.
Having done that, those reserves could sit there if never used, until next year and give us some leeway for spending in 2010. If for any disastrous reason, we had to use those funds, we would have them.
The other thing is to project government revenues for 2009. Until we get the STATE OF THE NATION report from our Prime Minister later in January, we cannot draw too many conclusions about that. The mistake both politicians and bureaucrats make often, is to set too high an estimate of government revenues. It is wiser to take the least expected projections and work within that. If you should have money left over by the end of 2009, that is to the good and would go well toward building solvency, or resolving temporary budget shortfalls that might be needed.
What would you recommend for budget planning for this UDP government? After all, they are YOUR GOVERNMENT and so far, they have shown little skill at budget planning with budget revenues. THEY need your ideas and advice! TELL THEM WHAT YOU WOULD PLAN AND DO WITH GOVERNMENT REVENUES.

Posted By Western Belize Happenings! to Western Belize Happenings! at 1/05/2009 08:21:00 AM

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