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Apr 14, 2020

GOB Loses Millions in Revenue

The economy is coming to a grinding halt and being the largest employer in the country, the Government of Belize is looking to cut down on spending.  With tens of millions dollars in revenue being lost as the weeks go by, the government is struggling to find funds to pay public officers. Government ministries, offices, and departments have closed down and with no revenue coming in; G.O.B. is finding it difficult to keep up with expenses, specifically the salary of thousands of public officers including teachers and the security forces. Salaries for the first part of April were not paid out as initially scheduled. The Public Service Union, the Belize National Teachers Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers recently sat down with the Financial Secretary to identify remedies for the financial effects of COVID-19.  B.N.T.U. National President Elena Smith says that discussion held involved cutting down on allowances, cutting contract officers and forgoing this year’s increment. Smith says nothing is yet finalized.

 

On the Phone: Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“As unions we made some proposals to the Financial Secretary in terms of our members’ position as it relates to the foregoing of the increment. So we made those submissions and other ways in which the government can maybe do some cost saving to be able to have some funds available. As a result of our discussion that day the proposal that put to the team and those have been taken back to the Prime Minister and Cabinet for the to have a final decision. So we are waiting to get that final position from the government as it relates to the proposal we made with regards to their proposal for some cut in contract officers, public officers increments forgoing of that and cutting in terms of allowances. The biggest concern was the fact that our members felt that the finances of the country have not been managed properly and for that reason now the government does not have sufficient funds at hand to assist those persons who have been laid off and do other things that they need to do at this time.


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