Third parties are also adding their voices to the discussion, reiterating that the final settlement on the BEL acquisition is a sugary sweet deal for Fortis alone. They held a 3 man protest outside of the of theNational Assembly today as the representatives met inside. Their main issue was the exemption of tax deal offered to Fortis in the BEL acquisition act passed through the house this morning. Bobby Lopez, spokesperson for the Vision Inspired by the People, VIP, expressed his dissatisfaction with this quote, “one sided deal.”
Bobby Lopez: We don’t get those perks. Yes settle it but there’s no need, there are exempt from business tax, stamp duty, tax on their dividends for as long as they own this 33 and a half percent so every time they get 15, 20 Million dollars a year off the backs of Belizeans buying the most expensive electricity in Central America, they don’t get tax, and they walk free and they get to transfer those funds into US dollars without any fees without and charges, so what are we getting? Really, it’s a sweet deal for Fortis and we have been saying, having read, and we haven’t seen the whole act, we have just saw portions of it and we look forward to reading the whole thing but we are saying that it’s a one sided sweet deal. Belizeans at the end got the short end of the stick.
Chalres Junior: Picketing is to first of all bring awareness and that is one of the 3 responsibilities of the Belize Unity Alliance. And to give a quick brief history, the Belize Unity Alliance was birthed fromthe VIP and the PNP and we strongly believe that the decision that was being made today by our current government is literally giving away your future, my future, my kids future and the Belizean, your future and your kids future as well. We are giving Fortis a sweet deal where they will be making without paying taxes to our government. Taxes that are used to build our economy, and in approximately 20years for example they will be making 300 Million Dollars. That’s money that we could use here in Belize to develop our Country.
The bill to legitimize the acquisition deal passed through all its stages at the House of Representatives today.