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Jun 17, 2019

PUP Alleges Political Corruption at S.S.B.

John Briceno

In fourteen days, the new social security contribution and pension scheme is set to take effect. The People’s United Party, however, is not happy about it. Cabinet has approved the new rates which are yet to be legislated. Those new rates will be rolled out in three phases. On July first, the new rate will increase by point five percent and in 2020; employees will pay an additional point five percent. In 2020, the new rates are expected to be ten percent higher than the current eight percent. In a release fired off today, the P.U.P. says that Belizeans should be “outraged at the news that this organization is on the brink of collapse.” The release goes on to speak of a Cabinet paper reportedly sent by S.S.B. C.E.O. Dr. Colin Young to the ministers. The P.U.P. says that the paper is entitled – “How the U.D.P. can Leverage S.S.B.’s Sustainability to Gain Political Advantage.” The P.U.P. says it rejects “the politicization of the S.S.B., led by a U.D.P.-appointed C.E.O. who is also a campaign manager for that political party.” Last week, Leader John Briceño spoke of the expected increase in rates.

 

File: June 12, 2019, 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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