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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Imagine your boss doubling your allowance - what would you do with the extra cash? Well, that's a happy dilemma that government CEO's have been facing since early September, when their Living and Entertaining allowances were increased by 100%.

A leaked circular memo revealed that on the 8th of last month, the Cabinet Secretary approved the increase, to take effect from July 1st, 2022. That means for almost four months, the CEO's were taking home $1,500 in a single allowance alone as opposed to the previous $750.

Now, for many Belizeans, $1,500 is more than they make in a month, and even the ones who do make that, don't have living or travel allowances to help them with the cost of rent or gas.

And we also know that for the last two years, with austerity measures and COVID - left many with with reduced salaries or no jobs at all.

So with all that said, what justification does the prime minister have for doubling of the CEO's allowance? That's what we asked him today in Orange Walk.

"Sir, today we saw a circular dated September 8th from the Cabinet secretary, increasing the C.E.O's monthly living and entertainment allowances by 100% to 1,500 monthly, how can this be justified in the current climate?"

John Briceno, Prime Minister
"Well, I don't think it's a matter of, remember the CEO's, their allowances were cut so what it is doing it's just basically giving them what they had before the pandemic."

"I hear that, but - "

John Briceno, Prime Minister
"Okay, good, next question. Oh, you want to ask the same question?"

"The thing is the Belizean people are suffering economically they can't eat, so."

John Briceno, Prime Minister
"I don't think. You need to stop just saying things without empirical evidence. If you look at the empirical evidence more and more Belizeans are working. Right now, the unemployment rate was at 9.2%. That is the lowest rate in the past 5 years. The new survey or labor survey is going to be out soon and we just did one and it seems that it is showing that the labor, that unemployment is going to go down even more. People are going back to work because of the work our government has been doing, the C.E.O's feel that their allowances were cut, so they believe now that it is time for them to be given it back. The government workers got back their 10% and so they feel now that okay they were not cut their salary but their allowances were cut so we are giving it back to them. Remember, anyway we'll leave it at that."

Our records show that the CEO's allowances were never cut. Another memo from July 2021 actually reminded the CEO's that both their salaries and allowances would remain the same as May 2020.

Channel 7

PUP government CEOs increase their entertainment allowance!

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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UDP Blasts CEO Allowance Increases

The living and entertainment allowances for the government CEO's have also increased - or rather, been restored. They'd come into office during the pandemic, and had agreed to maintain the 50% allowance cut implemented by the Barrow Administration for the previous set of CEO's.

And that was what the Leader of the Opposition emphasized today - he explained that the current CEO's never really got a cut, they signed on to $750 as their living and entertainment allowance. Meanwhile, as you heard from the president of the PSU, the public officers had to sacrifice their increments as well as 10% of their salary.

And today, leader Shyne Barrow insisted that CEO's should not be getting this increase in allowance while the public officers' increments are still frozen. In addition, he doesn't believe the CEO's should be making more money than those elected to the House of Representatives.

Here's how he put it today during the UDP's press conference:

And second deputy of the party, Beverly Williams - formerly a CEO herself - also spoke on this matter, demanding that the government should find a way to give back what is owed to the public officers:

Channel 7

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