Belize’s Government ministers will take a 15% pay cut and a 50 percent reduction in allowances, under the provisions of the Public Sector Emoluments and Allowances Reduction Bill, 2021, which Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño referred to as the “Barrow Wage Cut”, when he introduced the bill in the House of Representatives on Friday, May 28.
The Bill will also reduce all Public Officers’ pay by 10 per cent, and their entertainment allowance by 25 percent. Briceño said the Bill takes into regard the deteriorated state of public finances, by which the government was forced to find ways to reduce public expenditure.
The Bill will reduce salaries and allowances of all persons appointed to hold a public office, including those who come under the supervision of the Public Services Commission, the Security Services Commission, and the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, as well as teachers employed at government schools and those denominational schools which receive grant funding from government.
Briceño said the government had tried their utmost to engage the unions in discussions to work out an amicable agreement to reduce the wage bill and to provide measures which would ameliorate the impact for the Public Service. He said the Government had given the unions a written undertaking of several measures, despite the unions’ rejection of the offer and their continuing industrial action.
Thus the Minister of the Public Service Hon. Henry Charles Usher will be advising the Governor General to sign a new Statutory instrument effecting this change, as provided for by the Constitution.
The Member for Mesopotamia Hon. Moses “Shyne” Barrow rose to object to the term “Barrow Wage Cut”, coitizing the Prime Minister referring to the bill as such.