Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2023. 11:00 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Belizean dollar is being stretched far longer than usual, according to the Public Service Union (PSU), and those who feel it – its members and the wider Public Service, including teachers – know it.
As President Dean Flowers reminded during the Joint Unions’ press conference on Tuesday, “What concerns us also is the fact that fifty-two percent of our population is living in poverty. Another eleven percent is considered vulnerable to poverty. That puts us as a country at sixty-three percent of our people who are on the brink of being direly poor. What is even more alarming is that fifty-seven percent of our youths between the age of fifteen and twenty-four are poor and then as a country, we wonder why crime is on the rise.”
Warning that “civil unrest” may be coming if something is not done, Flowers reminded that the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise has yet to act on plans to act on price gouging by stores and reducing the cost of living: “It is time for the lip service to stop where inflation and price gouging and more specifically price gouging is concerned and that the government introduces at its next sitting an amended to [the Supplies Control] act to address this dire situation.”
Inflation has been measured at seven percent for the year 2022, although prices are reported to be easing.
Flowers also noted that there has been no response to overtures from the union to reassign public servants to the understaffed SCU to act as inspectors, ensuring that while shopping at these stores they can spot overpriced products and get the law enforced.
The unions ask the Government to use its talent to “come up with a well-design policy and measures to urgently prevent the deepening of existing levels of poverty and inequality in this country.”The Belizean dollar is being stretched far longer than usual, according to the Public Service Union (PSU), and those who feel it – its members and the wider Public Service, including teachers – know it.
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