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Feb 10, 2017

Unions Join Call to Get Tough with Government

Jacqueline Willoughby

As we told you earlier, the trade unions and civil society took their turn with the Government’s budget team today at the Belize Biltmore Plaza hotel. At its end, the interim president of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, Jacqueline Willoughby, discussed the union’s stance on planned tax increases and where the Government can cut the fat from its programs and payrolls.

 

Jacqueline Willoughby, Interim President, National Trade Union Congress of Belize

“Generally, what we did was actually call on Government to say, if we are going to have austerity measures, let everybody be on board. So that we have to look at how we diversify agriculture; how we put in policies for procurement; how we do better tax enforcement – rather than just introduce new tax laws, how do we enforce what we have; how we bring the informal sector over into the formal sector; how do we increase our export – stop bringing in things that we already here; encourage our people to have subsistence farming that kind of thing.  While I agree with you that we have to increase income; we have to increase the revenue; I’m not sure that I would totally agree with you that we must raise tax. But of course, I’m sure that it is a discussion that is on the table, albeit the response that we received today, is that it is something that is being looked at, but it is not something that has actually been decided; and in the meantime we have the Tax Reform Committee going on, so when and if Government decides that this is the route, we will know.”

 

We will have much more in Monday’s newscast.

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