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Aug 16, 2023

Inflation and Price Gouging a Serious Concern for Unions Says Senator

Elena Smith

There has been major public outcry lately over the rising cost of goods in the supermarkets. The Government of Belize has sought to implement numerous strategies in an attempt to mitigate the pinch consumers are feeling in their pockets. A Price Gouging Task Force has been established, but there have not been any updates as to the effectiveness of that approach. And, recently the Briceño administration proposed an expansion of the price control list. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has raised objections to that proposal. Over the weekend, the United Democratic Party protested the crippling cost of living. But, where are the unions? We asked Elena Smith the Union Senator.


Elena Smith, Union Senator

“If you recall there was this change to enable our public officers to be persons going out to look at these people price gouging. That is, as far as I am aware, nothing further has happened. So that is a crucial step. We have to ensure we push for that and we had that discussion just last night in our preparation meeting, we have to ensure that we now spend some time ensuring that we are not just making legislative changes but that we are also enforcing that those things do happen. So, the NTUCB is concerned about that and I think on Saturday’s meeting we will discuss some of those matters to see what else we can do to address some of those serious concerns, especially as it relates to price gouging.”


Paul Lopez

“The criticism is that the unions have gone mum when in the past you have been rather unspoken on these issues.”


Elena Smith

“Remember it is not just about putting out a statement, as unions we have to carefully plan or move and while you may not be hearing anything from the unions at this point in time as you rightly said, that doesn’t mean we are not having conversations, committee meetings, we are now preparing ourselves to see how best we can address the situation and get the matter to move forward. That is the important thing because our workers are feeling the brunt of it. Monies we are getting is not sufficing for the things we have to pay so it is a concern of ours and we are going to be addressing that very shortly.”

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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