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Mar 14, 2011

The P.M.’s Speech: review of pension and $63 million in amortization

Dean Barrow

The 2011-2012 budget presentation was on Friday in the capital and details of how it will impact Belizeans are just beginning to take shape. Prime Minister Dean Barrow did reveal that while revenue and grants are projected at eight hundred and forty-three point six million dollars, expenditure is at eight hundred and ninety million. That leaves a hole of over forty-six point four million dollars. With a budget in deficit, P.M. Barrow admitted that there is need to do a wide-ranging review of the public and government pension systems that could severely impact current and future pension holders.

Dean Barrow

“The Draft Estimates of Recurrent Expenditure propose a total of seven hundred and twenty-nine point six million dollars up from an outturn of seven hundred point four million dollars the year before. The proposed increase of twenty-nine point two millions dollars reflects the steady upward pressure on the wage bill due to annual salary increments, the filling of vital posts especially in the area of public safety, and the contracting of technical and executive staff.

The provision for Pension and Gratuities has also been increasing gradually, reaching forty-eight point nine million dollars for the new fiscal year. We are in the process of undertaking a comprehensive review of the public and government pension systems through a technical cooperation grant from the I.D.B.

Government is also proposing an allocation of one hundred and sixty-seven point nine million dollars for Goods & Services and one hundred point three million dollars for Subsidies & Current Transfers to cover essential materials and supplies for Health and Education; to meet grants to educational institutions; to pay for food and fuel for the Police Department, the Belize Defense Force and other Government departments; and to meet the cost of the ever-growing utilities bills, particularly the bills for street lighting.

In the Recurrent Budget, we are also proposing some one hundred and twelve point one million dollars to meet interest payments on our debt obligations for the year. The amount required is slightly less than last year’s estimate and reflects a slight lowering of interest rate on domestic debt instruments and overdraft facilities. Mister Speaker, this is just a temporary respite, as in August 2012 the interest on the “Superbond” will reach eight point five percent and the Government will have to provide an additional twenty-eight million dollars per annum to meet the interest on this single debt obligation.”

As we mentioned at the top of the story, the country is facing a deficit of over forty-six million dollars and it seems that government is short for debt amortization. At the end of the presentation on Recurrent Expenditure, we did a side by side comparison of the P.M.’s speech along with the written text. We didn’t hear the Prime Minister recite a small portion of his speech, which said, “Although not shown explicitly in the recurrent budget due to the GFS-format of the presentation, we have to provide an additional sum of sixty-three million dollars to meet debt amortization payments. This represents a priority call on Government’s resources. When added to the Overall Deficit of forty-six million dollars, it results in an Overall Financing Requirement of one hundred and nine point four million dollars.” We’ll have more from the Budget presentation in subsequent newscasts.

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6 Responses for “The P.M.’s Speech: review of pension and $63 million in amortization”

  1. Lucas says:

    I would also suggest that retirement be set at age 60. The unions who take a juicy and succulent bone should make greater contrbution to their pension, health and other benefits. LET US REMEMBER THAT ALL GRATUITIES THE UNIONS RAKE IN, IS FUNDED BY US THE TAXPAYERS. I think it was the State of Wisconsim just last week, took such draconian steps to balance its’ budget. At this moment, Ohio is taking steps to do the same. I know the unions will consider it ANATHEMA but desperate times require desperate measure.

  2. Earl Grey says:

    I CAN SEE THE PAIN COMING……………………….it hurts already.

  3. BDF soldier says:

    Why the pup &udp mafia take a salary that is just?first of all belizeans are in the dark when it comes to the ministers salary,no one knows how much they make.how much millions they spend traveling from belize to belmopan on thier government expensive vehicles?why not get a bus that will bring them back and fort to bze to pan?they will save millions on GAS.why they dont move to live in belmopan?since its thier they work.dean barrow why dont u stop paying your X WIFE millions for doing nothing?

  4. UDP no matta wat says:

    4 million fu Lady Lais, Oil company fu Kimano, Phone company fu Anwar. we covered already..deh ole piple cuud live pan cup-a-noodles.. My bway Dean deh pan wah rollll!!!!!!!!!

  5. Juniore Guerra says:

    Dean Barrow is giving it to you Belizeans and I bet he does not even call to say Thank you in the morning. You voted him in, so now pay the consequences.

  6. NED says:

    Looks like Lucas is the only one with a bit of sense, I would suggest that retirement starts at age 65. The retirement program was only started in the great depression to try and get the younger people employed. Now with goverments broke world wide we need to look at all our options like any prudent business person would.

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