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Jan 13, 2012

PM explains S.S.B. Housing Write-offs

Dean Barrow

Despite the dilemma of the C.E.O., Merlene Bailey and Internal Auditor, Denise Mahler, the Prime Minister explained the merits of the scheme.

Dean Barrow

“When I negotiated with S.S.B. to buy these mortgages in order to write them off for Belizean homeowners, I did so on the basis that the people to be covered would be those that had originally borrowed fifty thousand dollars and below. I was given the list of such persons—current as of September thirtieth, 2011. That was the list that formed the basis of the contract that I subsequently on behalf of the government and the Ministry of Finance concluded with the S.S.B. Board; that was the list that contained seven hundred and eighty-one names. However the current acting C.E.O. of S.S.B. double-checked that list for me yesterday in order to finalize it for today’s house meeting and she did some disaggregation. Of course a copy of that list has been deposited with the house for all members to examine and extract if they wish—totally transparent, totally opened, total above board. But the acting C.E.O. has pointed out that as a consequence of her comprehensive review, it is confirmed that the vast majority of the persons on that list, in fact ninety-four point five percent did borrow originally at fifty thousand or less. But the remaining five point five percent had loans at the start in excess of fifty thousand—not greatly in excess, but still above what had been my negotiating threshold. Of course the government of Belize has already paid for all of the loans whose principal balances were at September thirtieth and continue to be now all below fifty thousand. Since September thirtieth, I was given that September thirtieth list sometime in October—or maybe late October—since that time, persons on that list continued to service their mortgages. So the principal balances; the statement that will accompany the list will have the balances as of thirtieth September—some of them would have paid down a little bit more. I only say this because I don’t want them to come and say we want a rebate for the amount that we paid between September and December. Lord man, we already di write off everything and I only concluded the deal with S.S.B. at the end of December and the house is only approving it now. So whatever you paid between September and now, that is for social security. The few that did not start off at fifty thousand when they first made their loans should perhaps be removed from the list, but I really don’t think that would be fair. But I want to make clear to the acting C.E.O. of S.S.B. that that is my decision and the decision of the government. So she doesn’t have to worry about the fact that she may think that morally those people ought to come off the list.”

Barrow said if any persons died whose name was on the list, then their mortgages would have been covered by insurance. So that would open up spaces for additional persons to be added on the list, perhaps in the sixty thousand dollar range.

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1 Response for “PM explains S.S.B. Housing Write-offs”

  1. Lucas says:

    We want to see that list. I want to see that list. show me the list. HE WHO OWES NOTHING FEARS NOTHING. I wonder then why Barrow has not made that list avialable. What is he afraid off? What is the delay? Is he having the list cooked?

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