Friday, August 18, 2017

PUP Defends Cane-farmers – NO CUT in Fuel Subsidies

Saturday, July 29, 2017, 19:18
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caneThursday, 27 July 2017 The news went out just last week that the vindictive, uncaring Barrow administration was considering cutting fuel subsidies to cane-farmers in Belize. How heartless could this government be, cutting the only subsidy cane-farmers get at the exact time those farmers have to deal with the loss of preferential markets. If this were to happen, it would cripple the industry because of the exorbitantly high-cost of fuel and production. What is the Barrow administration thinking? The People’s United Party immediately went on the offensive, rejecting any plan by government to further hurt small-farmers while always defending big business. In a release sent out early Monday morning, the PUP “condemned Government’s position of always targeting the small man while protecting big business. While the Barrow Administration through the Ministry of Agriculture speaks about doing away with fuel subsidies, claiming pressure from the International Financial Institutions, IFIs, they say nothing about the subsidies granted to ASR/BSI and Santander.” The bad news came directly out of the Ministry of Agriculture, as CEO Jose Alpuche revealed that cutting fuel subsidies to farmers is indeed very much on the table. “I know for a fact that Government is coming under tremendous pressure by the IFIs to end the subsidies that they provide to sugar. Sugar is one of the only industries that obtains those levels of subsidies and Government is coming under increasing pressure to end those. It is a dialogue which we will have to have with them...” While the Prime Minister was quick to deny any such discussion or intent, he has shown in the past that he cannot be trusted implicitly. Very often commitments made by the PM have been forgotten, or simply ignored. Very often he has backtracked or done a complete about turn on promises or proclamations made, without shame. The PUP ends its release by demanding that “Government revisit any intention to cut fuel subsidies to cane-farmers, who produce arguably the best quality sugar in the region…this Barrow Administration must address these issues NOW…and MUST make decisions with the farmers, and not big business at heart.”
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