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Mar 3, 2014

Unions to take Independence Hill for 2014 budget presentation

Luke Palacio

The national budget for the 2014 fiscal year will be presented in the House of Representatives this Friday, where Prime Minister Barrow is expected to formally announce that the unions, after prolonged negotiations with government, will be receiving a salary adjustment of five percent, along with an increment of two and a half percent, respectively.  While the Barrow administration raves about the long overdue fine-tuning of salaries, the Belize National Teachers Union is planning a massive demonstration on Independence Hill to coincide with the budget presentation. The reason, according to National President Luke Palacio, is quite simple.  The proposed five percent increase doesn’t seem to include government revenues that will be collected during the month of March, a figure which is very much variable to the salary adjustment formula being applied.  This afternoon, Palacio told the media that Friday’s demonstration is to address those and other national issues.

 

Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.

“If you have a formula that has been proposed, a formula that we are working with in terms of the outturn of the revenue, this year over last year, why then was such a pronouncement made?  Is it then a projection that by the time the financial year ends in March that is what will happen or what if the projections fall short?  Will we then be told at the end of March that the salary adjustment will be less?  And equally so, if the amount projected which we were told at the January thirtieth meeting that that figure would be something like twenty-two million dollars.  So if that were the case, we just wanted, we thought that or believed that they should have said okay, “this is what it is showing up to this point.  Come the end of March we will be able to consolidate the figures, in fact, we know that based on what we’ve been discussing that that final figure would not be verified, so to speak, until in June and that is why the salary adjustment would kick in retroactive to April.  So why the pronouncement now when we have one more month in the financial year.  So that’s a concern that we have. We are going to bring members from the ten branches of the Belize National Teachers Union to Belmopan.”

 

Reporter
“The permit, you already have that?”

 

Luke Palacio

“We have applied.  The Belmopan branch officers are responsible for that.  We hope that that process would have started today.”

 

B.N.T.U.’s Council of Management states that Friday’s demonstration commences at nine a.m. and goes through until three in the afternoon.

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3 Responses for “Unions to take Independence Hill for 2014 budget presentation”

  1. Eric says:

    The figure being thrown out is 22 million dollars that is what they are projecting the cost to the public coffers will be. I support the raise but it is troubling to think that this will now mean that the already high cost of living will go up in the form of additional taxes in order to make this money available. I think what they should have asked from the P.M was for him to find a way to lower the cost of living, first thought lower the price of fuel which should cause the price of goods and services to go down. Some of the teachers that would be “benefiting” from the raise will now be in an income bracket that allows for them to be taxed more which is also a double whammy because the cost of living will still be going up. This way of thinking reminds me of the conversation I was having the other day with this girl when she said “the government is in so much money trouble why don’t they just print more money”, I was taken aback but then I realized this is probably the way most Belizeans and if they don’t think this way they certainly do act like it. Money just doesn’t fall from the sky people I thought you learnt this by now from all these years of your parents telling you this.

  2. Lord LOL says:

    Make sure you all demonstrate about corruption too.

  3. Justice says:

    I agree with Eric..those who werent paying income tax will now have to pay and the increase they got will go right back to the GOB..on the other hand I believe Luke Palacio is making this thing political..the PM has already agreed to the 5% increase..why have our children out of school for yet another day..

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