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Jan 11, 2012

C.E.O. of Social Security Board suspended

There is a major shakeup in the Social Security Board tonight and it is the first of a kind. The Board of Directors at an emergency meeting today, recommended that its C.E.O. Merlene Bailey be suspended from her duties at S.S.B.  This comes on the heels of a story we broke on Friday of insider trading at the S.S.B.  The board has also recommended that the internal auditor, Denise Mahler, should be suspended and that an independent audit should take place forthwith to determine whether there was any financial wrongdoing with S.S.B. money. The emergency meeting, which started at one-thirty today concluded after five and only dealt with the issue at hand. The board determined that Bailey had acted inappropriately when she encouraged her staff, including top management, to reduce their loans to be able to participate in the write-off of seventeen million dollars owed to Social Security in housing loans. More than a dozen of S.S.B.’s staff members, we are told, reduced their loans to qualify.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in his New Year’s address, announced the settlement of seven hundred and eighty-two mortgages through the Social Security Board.  The condition of the write-off is that each loan must not exceed fifty thousand dollars. But today, that goal post was changed and the write-off will apply to those whose mortgages were originally at fifty thousand dollars. Earlier this morning, the PM told News Five today that members of S.S.B.’s staff would not be allowed to get on the list that has already been approved since September, 2011.

Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“My position is that the Government of Belize has paid for, I believe, seven hundred and eighty-two mortgages.  The list of the persons that were in the fifty thousand dollars and below category is a list that we have and have had for some time.  There is no way any S.S.B. staff member who was not on that list can now get on to the list in consequence of having paid down to try and get their loans under fifty thousand dollars save and except if the Social Security Board wants to absorb any write-off.  It is my understanding that the chairman has indicated and I believe she may have done some informal sounding of the other members of her board but she has indicated that it aint going to happen and the only way it could happen is if S.S.B. were to absorb the cost, because there would be a cost.  From the time I learned of the situation I indicated to the C.E.O. that government would not pay a penny more than the agreed purchase price for the agreed number of mortgages.”

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27 Responses for “C.E.O. of Social Security Board suspended”

  1. Lucas says:

    I remember seeing Merlene Bailey, during the time she sat as judge and jury during the commission that investigated the Novelos’ fiasco, much lean. Now she looks well fed. It must be nice to eat at the UDP table.

  2. RedBwai says:

    This sounded shady from the begining….from the CEO down the ranks…shame on you SSB! as an SSB contributor and a tax paying citizen, i want to see some transparency here…i want to see where my hard earned money is being spent…..i want to see the list of names and of how much money was written off for each of those persons. No matter how they put it, its our hard earned tax payers money that is being used to fund this so called electioneering…. As usual, nothing will come out of this…no one will be punished…no wrong doing will be found and by tomorrow it will be swept under the rug Belizean style..This begs the question….why havent GOB done the exact same for the poor people who have outstanding loans at the DFC??? Its sad to see how many DFC houses go into forclosure every week in the newspapers because people cant afford to pay their mortgages…If this can be done for SSB loans i think its only fair that GOB do the same for the poor who have loans with DFC…isnt the government keeping DFC afloat anyways????

  3. WOW says:

    This mortgage writeoff is very unfair, mortgages that should have been written off are for the one’s who became disabled, hurt, or unable to work due to job related accidents or incidents who have paid money into the SSB fund. Look at who will benefit, SSBemployees. Come on Belizeans, go hold your picket signs and protest against SSB and their !@$$. They denied my brother when he was in an accident in 2008 which left him paralyzed from the waist down, I always wondered if the SSB are for the workers or the employees of SSB. Eventhough he was a government employee, they cut his benefits two years ago, now he has to fend for himself and his family. Thank God for his wife and loving children, he is striving. Shame, shame, shame on SSB and its employees.

  4. Barack Obama says:

    I really hate this idea of the mortgage write off. Perhaps to ease some tension, they could easily lower the interest rates on the mortgages but not a complete write off. What about the rest of us who are paying rent and mortgages and making the sacrifices just as everyone else.

    More importantly, I don’t like my hard earned dollars in social security and government taxes being put to waste. We have a lot of other priority social needs such as health, education, security, quality of life and cost of living, etc.

  5. alley cat says:

    Not sure we would have seen suspensions, investigations, audits etc… under a PUP government. I know I will catch some heat from the politicos on here but I feel this administration deals with corruption in its ranks way better than the prior admnistration. Clear the Land Castro, Melvin Hulse and his Daughter and now Merlene Bailey Martinez,. If these allegations are true then it would be a real dissapointment because not too long ago she was doing the investigating…

  6. Gran Gran says:

    My husband work all his life with govament, he died 2 years ago, now Social give me one hundred and twenty dollas a month. thats all i get to live on. while the head a Social and the staff all the teef FIFTY thosand each..mi husband dah mi UDP all e life, but ah sure e di turn ova eena e grave fu see weh they di do with his money.

  7. belize1st says:

    dean barrow is a corrupt PM and Belizeans should not allow this bs to continue happening with our social security monies its our hard earned monies that he is wasting to gain political milieage.thatz not transparent, but when we get sick social security plays the dodo bird and have us up and down here and there,and are hard in paying us what is for us,but this CORRUPT PM just writes off loans like crazy for his own benefit,who will end up paying does write OFF LOANS? we the people again and who is benefiting from it ?dean barrow and cronies and a few people while thousands more will have to suffer, more taxes the come under the UDP just wait and see.this UDP no think for the poor -dean barrow is thinkinng in himself,family,ex-wife lois young barrow,shane barrow in Israel,and close cronies,the poor always suffers.

  8. belize1st says:

    THIS CORRUPT PM SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED BY THE BELIZEAN PEOPLE,SHAME ON HIM FOR ALLOWING THIS BS TO HAPPEN,HE SHOULD RESIGN OR MEK THE POEPLE ELECT A NEW GOVT’ THAT WILL BE TRANSPARENT AND ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE.

  9. Mosh says:

    Bulls***. Make everyone pay its on dues…. PM stop using our funds to campaign your politics, if you want to pardon people use your millions….. not ours.

  10. Jan says:

    A lot of people applaud this loan or mortgage write off. But what all of us social security contributors fail to realized that it doesnot matter who is getting benefited we will suffer. Social Security is a obligated deduction as long as you have a job. So when you get old and want your pension well they will simply tel you there is no more money thanks to all this stuff happening right now. Well we dont even have to go far simply when you get sick or injured you see really how your contributions work. Stop wasting the monies on politics, do something that wil benefit all the people of this country. Like better roads or better police…

  11. Elgin Martinez says:

    It’s all about the votes this incompitent PM can aquire.Think about the timming that this write off is taking place.This is the reason why some of my Belizean brothers and sisters are so dependent on politicians to do everything for them.Instead of writing off loans,why don’t you PM create jobs for the people so that they can provide for themselves.

  12. Adamancio says:

    I am a die hard u.d.p but mien, Dean really d disappoint me. Come on, i believe all persons should pay their own debts. i am paying my own. plus now look at wat the C.E.O. of ssb gaan do.

  13. Mad Black Woman says:

    ha ha! Fool di talk but fool no di listen. All those SSB staff who were into this scheme should be fired. Barrow just di get a taste of his own medicine.

  14. hardworking says:

    I really thing the workers union could stop this nonsense! PM please leave our hard working money for our health, our defenseless spouses and children to benefit from this.

    I am pleading to the worker union to call for a protest! Its many of us who are working and being deducted each month and a few who will benefit from these monies. ALL WORKERS PLEASE LETS UNITE AND STOP THIS NONSENSE!

  15. J says:

    The write offs should not have been across-the-board. Like mentioned above, it should be for those who are no longer able to work as a result of an accident/disability. If the govt would like to offer assistance to ALL homeowners, pls do so by thru tax incentives/deductions. Let me include a %age of my mortgage payments as a deduction when I file my tax return on March 31st.

  16. ProudBelizean says:

    WHY DONT YOU FORCE BANKS AND OTHER LENDING INSTITUTIONS ACROSS THE BOARD TO LOWER MORTGAGE RATES ON EXISTING LOANS? THAT WAY YOU REACH OUT TO MORE PEOPLE AND COULD DO BETTER FOR POLITICAL MILEAGE.

    JUST PROVES THAT THESE PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT ARE SO SMART THAT THEY GET DUNSEY!!!

    FORCE BANKS TO DROP INTEREST RATES ON EXISTING AND FUTURE MORTGAGES.

  17. Earl Grey says:

    This is JUST THE BEGINNING!!!

  18. ssbcontributor says:

    I have paid social security and income tax for 16 years… not a benefit.. .and now my hard earned money paid to them will be used to pay off the mortgages of so many people who live lavish lives and have more than enough money to finance their loans.. dean barrow may be unjust but God is not.

  19. Babs says:

    They way Belize people think they will say, if the SSB loans can be written off why not the DFC loans??? Aren’t those people struggling too??? If you do for one, you haftu do for all….soh it goh. I think they went an opened a whole can of worms!

  20. D Real Belizean!! says:

    Eeeh Dean Barrow, i da d real Belizean, at age 30, me want my offical write off too, cause when my shipment land all who nuh ovas who/what/when and is Belize wa get fired. Find me.

  21. D Real Belizean says:

    Yo see Dean wa help people, but check dis d man have to link up with d real Belizean aged 30, only he knos d land and d correct move, Betta link up da man with fi he write off too. Link Up Dean.

  22. cayobway says:

    SOMETIME I FEEL WE WOULD BE A BIT BETTER OFF WITH A GUATEMALAN GOV. :( ITS A SAD WAY TO THINK BUT ITS THE TRUTH..

    I AM SURE WE HAVE SOME SMART AND INTELLIGENT PEOPLE HERE IN BELIZE THAT CAN PROPERLY MANAGE OUR AFFAIRS. PLEASE STEP UP PEOPLE WE NEED A STRONG THIRD PARTY . AND WE NEED IT NOW

  23. thinker says:

    thinker! I absolutely do not agree with GOB. If they want to help? why don’t they give the privilege to the needy. Those most unfortunate. why to the SSB employees? they are healthy and can work. Give it to the poor to improve their quality of living, to better their homes, to seek medication. GOB, don’t help the healthy to get better, or the rich to get richer, help the community or people that really need it. Get applications,and investigate their backgrounds. See who needs the write-off or not. Please be fair ONCE in life! I’m sure God will put you in his list!

  24. fureal says:

    I think writing off these loans are not fair. they are people who are making fat salaries that could afford to pay off their loans whose loans are being written so unfair and majority of the people still having a hard time paying of their loans with other institutions. Keep in mind that 99% of the people that got loans with SSB are die hard PUP cause those wore the only ones that could have gotten their loans from them in those days.

  25. Bzbuay says:

    The PUDP keep proving that they are one and alike. It is illegal to use the SSB funds for any one political party gain. I’ll tell you all this, as long as Belizeans continue to vote these kinda individuals as our representatrive, we’ll continue to suffer and remain stagnant in the face of the greater world. People, LAWYERS WORK TO DEFEND CRIMINALS. When you vote them into public office, you’re telling the world that this person represent your morals and beliefs.

  26. A Jew says:

    What a blow to SSB and the CEO Bailey-Martinez. This usually happens when you try to steal from the hard working people of Belize. All those involved and the CEO should have their posts and jobs terminated on the spot. Shame on the CEO and all her colleagues that were involved. They all should be charged and taken to court!!

  27. JahKid says:

    Good intentions turned to wickedness by wicked people. Deal with these greedy people who all the time is just hustle, hustle and hustle. Deal with all the crooked bunch. These type of corruption is happening in most of the ministries by civil servants. They really know how to cover up their thievery. The know how to make receipts to prove things were done fair and legal. Any government governing this My Little Belize will suffer under such civil servants that grow roots in these offices. They are too wicked. This type of lifestyle has been passed on to us from our British leaders on to the Belizeans that have learn’t only to fix themselves when trusted by any government. Prime Minister, I tell you, the result of the way this situation is handled and if nobody get hammered, it will show on election day. Deal with these people making your government look bad and let the people see you are serious in fair governing. I don’t worry if the benefactors are pup or udp or vip, but deal hard with these corrupt ones. I need mines cancelled too at DFC. I’m struggling to keep up with my only two kids, imagine a larger family. Give us a chance too. We diserve it, we have many times cut on our rations in order to have our money to pay every end of month. I need my house.

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