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Feb 8, 2021

G.O.B. Did Not Propose Salary Cut

This week is a critical week for the Briceño administration as they head into budget consultations with the unions. The past and new administrations have had to borrow one million dollars a day to keep on paying the staggering public sector wage bill. At the same time, the Briceño administration has publicly stated that they do not support retrenchment.  There has been much speculation that a pay cut is soon to come for public servants.  On Friday, two letters purportedly from the Belize Business Bureau were widely circulated.  The first stated,  “We fully support the government’s decision to implement a wage reduction of fifteen percent across the board.”   A few hours later, after the public began debating the issue online, another version of the letter circulated with that one line reading, “B.B.B. is recommending a wage reduction of fifteen percent.”   The government maintains that the first letter was false. Prime Minister John Briceño told News Five that the proposal was not put forth by G.O.B., but is it under consideration?


John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“That is not a proposal from the government. What we have been doing, we said that we are going to have consultations and consultations mean that you present the facts. These are the facts; this is in front of us, now you tell us what are your ideas in how we can close this gap. Fact the U.D.P. left us with a deficit of five hundred million dollars. It took previous governments from 1981 to 2008 for us to borrow more than five hundred million dollars. The U.D.P. government has left us in a hole of five hundred million dollars in one year; we are short of over three hundred million dollars. The U.D.P. expected to collect over one point one billion dollars; we are barely getting to eight hundred million. There is a three hundred million-dollar short. Of every dollar that we collect right now, we are using eighty-three cents to be able to pay salaries to the teachers and to the public officers and to pay pensions. What we can do to close this five hundred million-dollar gap? We can’t do that this coming year, cause we don’t have any more money. So we have to find a way how we can close that deficit, but at the same time to be able to help our poor people, to be able to create more jobs, to open up the economy and finding ways how we can improve and increase investments in Belize. That is the only way we can move ahead.”

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