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Jun 26, 2003

Private sector accepts Social Security compromise

Signs of significant compromise in the Social Security controversy continue to circulate tonight. Following a meeting with the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, officials from the Chamber of Commerce and Business Bureau indicate that government has agreed to scale back its plans for heavy increases in worker and employer contributions. Echoing earlier reports from union representatives, a joint release from the business organisations says that while government remains unalterably committed to an increase in contributions from seven to eight percent of insurable earnings, Belmopan has agreed to abandon a number of other costly proposals. Among them are the raising of pensionable retirement age, which now seems destined to remain at sixty-five, as well as the doubling of insurable earnings from three hundred and twenty to six hundred and forty dollars per week. According to the release, the ceiling will remain at three hundred and twenty dollars and any future increases will be based on recommendations from the board, based on actuarial evidence. While sources in the private sector indicate that they can live with the compromise, the unions that make up the N.T.U.C.B. are still unable to agree amongst themselves on whether to accept the one percent increase.

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