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GOB Loses Millions in Revenue #541685
04/15/20 05:19 AM
04/15/20 05:19 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 71,914
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
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.

Channel 5

Re: GOB Loses Millions in Revenue [Re: Marty] #541686
04/15/20 05:21 AM
04/15/20 05:21 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 71,914
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Is the Government Broke?

Revenue to government coffers has been shrinking due to COVID-19 and the state of emergency.  So is the government broke? That is the question we asked Financial Secretary Joseph Waight today. According to Waight, large departments like the Belize Tax Services and the Customs Department collecting up to thirty million dollars in revenue a month and with the revenue stream going dry, the government is looking at cost-saving measures.

Hipolito Novelo

“How much money would you say the government has lost in terms of revenue?”

On the Phone: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“Every day that we don’t operate and depending on the time of the month we lose several million dollars. The estimate is that in one month you get about thirty or forty million dollars from the two big departments, but much more from smaller department. Customs sometimes gives us thirty to thirty-five million dollars a month. GST about the same amount. Quite frankly, the collections are way, way down. Economic activity has stopped and also combined with the shutdown and quote frankly we will be lucky to get a quarter of what we would get monthly and we just don’t know how long this will last.”

Hipolito Novelo

“Is the government broke?”

On the Phone: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“(Laughs) Which government in the Caribbean—maybe apart from Trinidad—that is not broke at the moment. The government has a few reserved, but the problem is do you spend it all now or do you wait and see how long the storm will last.”

Channel 5

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