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Opposition stands with teachers and public officers, condemns salary cuts proposed by government

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Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2021. 6:22 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) said today that it strongly opposed the 10 percent salary cut for teachers and public officers being proposed by the Government of Belize as part of its cost-cutting measures.

The UDP said that it stands with the teachers and public officers and further condemns that the government would make such a proposal while simultaneously spending on hiring new government staff with high-paying salaries, high-end office space that costs thousands of dollars over months, and new luxury vehicles for ministers. The party said that, in the current economic climate, the teachers and public offices simply, cannot afford the loss in income.

“The UDP strongly opposes this reduction in salaries because it simply cannot be afforded by the public officers, especially at this time when thousands of Belizeans, many of whom belong to the same households as these public officers, have already lost their jobs or means of income, even as the cost of fuel, food, and other commodities continue to skyrocket,” the UDP said.

The party also condemned statements made by Prime Minister John Briceno about the lack of sacrifice made by teachers and public officers, which includes police officers, Belize Defense Force personnel, Belize Coast Guard personnel, firefighters, doctors, and nurses. The opposition also took issue with recent statements made by Minister of Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform Henry Charles Usher who said that the recent protest organized by teachers was a waste of time.

“The UDP not only opposes the substance of this government’s proposal, but also condemns the manner in which it is being administered, and the gross disrespect to our teachers and public officers by elected officials who keep making public statements that are uncomplimentary, condescending, and downright demeaning,” the UDP said.

The party called on GOB to exercise greater financial prudence and leave the salaries of working Belizeans alone.

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