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Jun 12, 2019

Opposition Leader Says S.S.B. is G.O.B.’s “Piggy Bank”

Effective July first, employers and employees will begin paying a higher contribution to the social security fund.  The new contribution and pension reform, approved by Cabinet, is essentially to save the Social Security Board from crashing.  The new rates will be phased over the next three years with an initial increase of point five percent this year.  By 2021, the increase will be ten percent compared to the current eight percent that is being paid by employers and employees combined. In the new schedule, contributors will also be eligible for greater benefits.  But that aside, Opposition Leader John Briceño, says the reform comes at the eleventh hour- the financial cliff so to speak.  Briceño asserts that the S.S.B. has arrived at this stage due to mismanagement.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“We need to start off by pointing out that we need to do everything possible to protect social security on behalf of the Belizean worker. But this again brings home the point that we have been making, that this is a very incompetent government and they knew that this would happen several years ago. Now that we are at the edge of the cliff, now they are quickly pushing legislation to increase what workers and business are going to be paying into social security.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Higher contributions come with greater benefits. That is the reform.”

 

John Briceño

“Well of course that is what they have been saying but the reality is that we could have been getting those returns probably by managing the fund better.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Yesterday, the C.E.O., Dr. Colin Young; he made it a point that in terms of the criticisms that S.S.B. has received with “bad loans’ over the last twenty years, the S.S.B. has only loss eight point six millions.”

 

John Briceño

“Well that is beside the point. The point is that the government has been using the social security as a piggy bank and that these monies could have been invested better to get better returns. It is so ironic that at a time when the cost of living continues to go up, when businesses are struggling, employees are struggling here they are talking about raising the rates. We would have thought that they would be taking about raising the minimum wage.   They have used social security as a piggy bank. Any project that the Prime Minister could conceive in his head, he says let’s go to social security. I know that he will tell you that social security has its own board but we know that the many of them are politically appoint, very closed to the government and would do what the government asked them to do.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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