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Chamber recommends other measures to improve Government’s fiscal position

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Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021. 6:22 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has written to Prime Minister John Briceno expressing their appreciation after participating in the budget consultation process.

Besides the question of any cuts to the wage bill, the chamber listed some recommendations for government to consider.

The first recommendation is for Government to take administrative steps to close tax loopholes, which many business entities use in order to evade paying their fair share of taxes.

The BCCI says that it continues to stand ready with government and other stakeholders to ensure that evaders are identified and made to contribute their part to the functioning of this Belizean economy.

Other administrative measures recommended by the chamber include:

The immediate instituting of a hiring freeze;

The commencing or finalizing of a thorough payroll audit as has been advised by even entities such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB);

Immediately establishing and implementing a policy that guides staff replacement ratios (e.g. one new recruitment for every three new public sector retirees);

The setting in motion gradual parametric reforms of the public-sector pension, including lifting the legal retirement age as well as making the program contributory;

Work assiduously and in partnership with the unions to address (and where relevant implement) the strategies outlined by “The Committee to Evaluate and Advise on Cost Saving Measures” in their various reports.

The chamber says that as summed in their agenda for 2020/21, there is the need to aggressively implement business climate reforms so as to allow a speedier recovery from the present recession.

“We take this opportunity to underscore the fact that many such reforms are already under way (albeit at varying degrees of completion) via the work of the Economic Development Council’s Public-Private Sector Desk (EDC/PPD), and we call on the government to ensure that this office and its work receives the support it requires,” the chamber noted.

The BCCI says that it stands ready to offer its support and partnership as it pertains to moving this economy forward.

 

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