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Jan 23, 2012

Ministers get a pittance in salaries

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

Last week you heard at least one minister say that he was paying half the cost for the naturalization of new Belizeans. But how can they afford it when according to Elrington, Ministers are getting a pittance as salaries.

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs/Foreign Trade

“Let me tell you, I am a minister and I get to take home six thousand dollars a month. That can’t pay for three funerals and the minister has to pay for funerals, the minister has to pay for hospital visits, the minister ahs to pay to get the zinc on the house. There’s a woman calling in on KREM over and over some time ago because the minister did not put back on the zinc on her house. The minister has not put in the electricity on her house. The minister is expected to come up with the money for everything; he doesn’t have it. Any minister who gets that kind of—who is able to do that kind of thing has to be stealing because the salaries that the ministers are being paid are less than the salaries that the C.E.O.s are being paid almost. We don’t get paid. People think that ministers get paid; you don’t get paid. It’s a pittance, it’s really a pittance compared to the salaries of the ministers in Singapore; they are not paid less than a million dollars a year, not less than a million dollars a year. We get six thousand dollars Belize take home a month. It’s not anything if you have to be in there for the service. Other people make their salaries but it is not expected that they are to give anything to the members of the public. But the voting public expects and demands and they will say that you get this money and you’re stealing it and have all this lots of money that belong to us. The truth is no; that is not true at all, at all, at all. The money that you are able to give away to help people are many times money that you have to take from your own resources. Had I not been in private practice, I would not be able to function as a minister. You have to have other source of income.”

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17 Responses for “Ministers get a pittance in salaries”

  1. Kenrick says:

    I’m not always in agreement with this man…but indeed…a page through the Ministry of Finance Budget publications shows Ministers are really underpaid…I believe we should pay people for the job we want them to perform in.

  2. home grown says:

    Could not be drug money, or stolen guns from the BDF, or late nite fees at the airport, or sweet heart land deals, or discount passports. Must be those money trees growing in the Chiquibul.

  3. junito says:

    Ministers are paid in par to what the country is able to afford. Comparing the salaries of ministers in Belize vs minister in Singapore which is a financial powerhouse is stupid. Belize ministers are paid alot more than other Central American countries. Now that is a good comparison. Belize is a 3rd world country while Singapore is not. If he is saying that then id say public workers in Singapore win over $100,000.00 a year meaning the government underpays workers here in Belize that barely make $30k. Now that’s an unwise analogy

  4. Concerned says:

    Thats right homegrown, those rosewood money trees have yielded them 100 Million in net profit, yet the media is silent about this. how come? so much has been stolen from PG as these people are kept ignorant, and poor, and a few families in power are getting richer.

  5. JG says:

    Pittance???!!! $6,000 a month????

    how about the man working for $150 a week? and has two kids to feed and put through school? u mean that government cant fund a scholarship, and that you have to take money out of your pocket if you want to help? mr minister, its not you breaking your back filling potholes in the street or stifling through the hot sun on a garbage truck!!!!

    you sit in an a/c office (when you show up) and give orders, then say you’re underpaid?! come on man, have a conscience, look at the population of belize, and compare it to what you earn. BELIZE PPL POOR, and u d complain bout $6,000 a month!!! Unu gat nerve! i wish i da get that!!!

  6. Sasha says:

    Right on, $6000./month and they still can’t do their job. Poor people digging ditches, chopping fields, growing crops, now that is hard work. and they don’t complain. Anyway, the money that is given away is money that belongs to taxpayer, like BARRow writing off BIG HOUSE LOANS.

  7. Earl Grey says:


  8. Di real says:

    Sedi, you were elected by the people to serve the people. If you wanted big cash, you should have never put ur name on the list and remain making big bucks as an attorney.

    Shame on you to go on national television and speak like that. Police officers have more of a right to dispute their salaries and also the hard working public officers that “make” you politicians look good. I hope his constituents are taking note so that they penalize him for his complaining about 6000/month.

  9. ABC says:

    They should work for free since its service to the country and when they learn to manage our resources and learn to build the nation like they should, then it should b our decision if they get paid and how much. He did not mention all the allowances they get.

    We r not dumb, we know y all of them r dying to stay in there or trying to get in, believe them that its just that $6000 they do it for… plz

  10. BeReal says:

    Valid comment Earl. Hope he would read these blogs…but then again, he no watch local news. He seems to be scoping Singapore.

  11. subKonshus says:

    How in the world can a minister be underpaid. Some families live on $7000 for the year. Out of that they have to pay house rent, light, phone, water, school fees, and groceries! Sedi has no idea what a pittance is….These ministers get free gas, free vehicle, bills paid, what the hell they need $6000 a month for. Just to party and go on fancy trips at luxury hotels…they should not get pay for that….I bet some of them have no idea what a gallon of gasoline costs, they have no idea how much a pound of corn tortilla costs. Ask the grassroots Belizean and they will tell you. These ministers need a touch of reality!!!

  12. Deeply concerned says:

    Sedi said it, take home! He gets to take home 6k, but what about the perks? Home allowance to live in his own house, car allowance, travel, food, phone, entertainment and all the other allowances??? He gets to take home and keep everything. In contrast to the regular joe that takes home $X but has to pay rent, utilities and everything else. At the end of the day they make a fortune because they don’t pay tax on the allowances!

  13. CEO says:

    People need to be paid depending on qualifications,a nd what they are responsible for. The man earning $150 per week does not have the training and the skills to do anything elase usually because of choices he made in his life.

    $6000 per month sounds like a lot to that person but it really is not a lot of money relatively. Swedi may also be the only honest politician in Belize this is why he knows the cost. The others get it easy so they do not mind spending it.: easy come easy go!

    If they are paid better they do not have any reason or excuse to steal!

  14. wangla seed says:

    SEDI outta touch with reality, he no watch no Belize news and he thinks 6000 dollars a month is a pittance. hope the people of pickstock hear this.
    rememba SEDI said we stupid becouse we no know what artificial means.
    SEDI is the new CRAZY GLUE

  15. home grown says:

    Singapore used to be at the bottom, so the comparison is NOT stupid. Singapore is rated in the top three countries for LEAST corruption, which means the people trust their government to do the correct thing. Their government officials are paid well and perform well, which is why after fifty years they are doing. If you are a criminal in government you are severely dealt with: caning, prison time, and public humiliation. If you are looking for feel good, compare Belize to Zimbabwe or Haiti. Time to crow as things get worse by incompetence or corruption; like Tommy Goffs, they come in twos.

    $6000 a month is too little if the general public expects government officials to PERSONALLY pay to fix their roofs or bury their dead. In this regard, the people are corrupting the government officials with unreasonable demands, extorting them with their vote, effectively vote buying. If the drug cartels pay the money to get this done, those politicians are working for the cartels and not the best interests of the people or country. If Belizeans are unwilling and too lazy to pick up trash in their front & back yards, why should they expect government officials to personally come by to do it for them, thinking THEY SHOULD WORK FOR MINIMUM WAGES? It is not just government officials being corrupt, it is the whole society. Belizeans are to blame for the failure of the country, they voted to put incompetent or corrupt people in, or did not vote cause they don’t care. Either way the citizens are responsible for the country or someone else ends up owning it. Run off your international investors to other countries, run off your most competent citizens to other countries because they feel unsafe. Don’t invest in education, send your kids to street gangs so they can best manage the affairs of the country when they get older.

  16. shybwoii says:

    It really shows where the minister’s interest is. A million dollars really! And admitting that ministers need to steal! No shame, no embarrassment!
    Lets ask the minister who pays his bills-light, telephone, water and family vacation or has he forgotten that we must pay those everyday!
    Not to mention the ridiculous gas prices that we must pay everyday, such a pity that he has forgotten these! Talk about conflict of interest! A minister working privately and then pretending to rule in ministerial capacity, I wonder which one he chooses first when he has commitments from both.
    Be real Sedi, get in touch with us the common people and see what our real bills are! See how many of us have free gas, plane tickets, light, water, telephone and rent! How many of us have someone pay our plane ticket and give us a credit card to spend vacation anywhere in the world.
    Hey lets see how many of us get a pension after five years! Oh yeah, thats for underpaid ministers! Poor guys they are really suffering in their new SUVs with free gas whilst driving past us in the dusty potholed roads we call streets while talking on their “free credit” cellphones.
    Sux to be a minister huh!

  17. JG says:

    @ CEO

    being paid on qualifications??? belize is a country full of people who are underemployed. people who have qualifications, degrees, etc, and can only earn minimum. that’s why belize suffers from the brain drain. if we have to pay people based on qualifications, why is carlos perdomo getting a salary? for 4 years he has not said a word at a press conference, singh and barrow do all his talking for him. Crime is one of our biggest problems in belize, he is our defense minister!!!! just like many of our other ministers, they get salary and still end up d grab what they can, sedi admitted it. to help poor people in belize, he shouldnt have to take money out of HIS pocket, doesnt the government collect tax from from 300,000 people? land tax, gst, income, etc. it sounds like sedi put his name on the ballot 4 years ago to see what he can get, not to see how he can help. he’s lucky, if he works for the people of belize, as his boss we should be able to tell him he’s overpaid.

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