PM John Briceno announces a reduction in salaries of ministers

Belize Prime Minister John Briceno
Belize Prime Minister John Briceno

The Belize government has also announced a reduction in the salaries of government ministers. The Prime Minister has stated that there will be a 15% reduction in salaries, while the Ministers of State and CEOs will have to give up half of their entertainment and telephone allowances. He said the department heads would have to hand in their grants as agreed in the 2021 financial year.

The remarks were made by Prime Minister John Briceno in his national speech on Friday, where he discussed various issues and numerous new government policies.

Belize Prime Minister John Briceno has also stated that the government will set up an advisory committee on social partnerships. He said the committee will consist of government representatives, NTUCB, the Churches, the business community and the non-governmental groups, with its first initial meetings to be held by October 2021.

He said the committee’s idea is to make proposals on revenue improvement, cost savings, tax reform and consumer security.

Prime Minister John Briceno said some subcommittees would also be installed for each of these critical areas. He said the government would give notice every six months on the state of public finances, with the first update in October this year.

The prime minister said the government would also set up a health insurance scheme for public officials to discuss more issues. He stated that the insurance would cover expenses for medical, dental and vision care, including an additional death benefit. The prime minister stated that the Belize government would contribute 80% of the premium, and that public officials would have to contribute the remaining 20%.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, education has shifted to virtual platforms; Belize Prime Minister John Briceno said the government had signed an agreement with BTL to offer 50% off 25 GB internet data packs for teachers.