Quite rightly, the PUP and the PM and Fonseca are crowing about the fact, their government has shown a $2.4 Bz million surplus on the annual past year budget.
How was it done? Partially they lucked out with double revenues. I believe much of this was the change in public psychology, due to their (PUP) avowed intent to boost the economy. But the real success story was the adoptation by May and June of 1999, of a policy of severe restraint in Government spending.
In their first five or six months, the PUP followed classic PUP policies. Which was foreign borrowing loans and spend, spend, spend! They met with resistance though, from the now more active debating concerned public. A fact, in which the internet is now playing a part around the world with elected dictatorships of all stripes. Our own Belize Development Trust contributing a small portion itself in the form of these reports.
It may be just co-incidental, that in May 12, 1999, Report #64 came out, describing how Treasury Secretary Rubin accomplished the economic miracle for Clinton and the Democratic Party in the USA, while all around the world countries crashed and burned, as their economic policies failed because of overspending and lack of debt control. Whether or not, our own Report #64 stimulated the necessary debate, soul searching and review of PUP governing policies is uncertain. Our TRUST contributions being more of an instigating nature, it is hard to measure such things and politicians always need to take the whole credit. Nevertheless, co-incidence or not, the PUP party, Fonseca and Musa the Prime Minister have learned a valuable lesson in fiscal management. Controlling government spending, keeping a lid on it, brings economic success to the nation. Congratulations to the team up there in Belmopan. May you also have a 5 year successful economic run during your term in office. Just keep the lid on government spending mon and read Report #64 once a month. Make it your MANTRA before you go to bed at night. Now, if you can wipe out our foreign debt? We might canonize you and put up some statues in courthouse plaza.
There is one confusion in our minds though. We measure success, partially in annual budget surpluses, but more pragmatically with the level of the National Foreign Debt. The economic guru in Belmopan, Minister Fonseca likes his 3% of GDP figures. I like the surplus, but also like the 20% limit of the average of the last two years annual budget foreign loan limit. If I knew how they figured GDP, it would be nice to carry a monthly ratio between Fonseca's 3% of GDP loan control and the 20% of the average of two years annual budget loan limit, which is my own contribution. Such a ratio would be nice to see in the weekly paper "THE REPORTER". It would tell you what the government was doing at a quick glance!