Posted: Friday, May 19, 2023. 10:27 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The last we heard about the damaged former Treasury Building, which prior to Hurricane Lisa in November housed the Magistrate’s Court, Registry and part of the High Court, funds were being sourced to repair its collapsed roof, which gave way about three weeks after the storm passed.
Now, according to the United Democratic Party’s Patrick Faber, the Social Security Board (SSB) has agreed to donate half a million dollars toward the repairs.
But he disagreed with the gesture, issuing a lengthy statement on Facebook insisting that “the burden of such expenses should not be borne by the diligent workers who have entrusted their contributions to the Social Security Board. Our contributions are meant to secure our financial future, providing us with a safety net in times of need and ensuring our well-being.”
According to Faber, “This action goes against the very essence of the board’s purpose, which is to invest the hard-earned money of contributors to ensure the timely payment of benefits.”
Faber goes on to maintain that the Board should not deviate as it has here from its responsibility to manage the funds entrusted to them and safeguard the long-term financial security of its contributors and that this is a “worrisome precedent” that would undermine workers’ confidence and allow for diversions of funds without general consent or meaningful consultation.
Faber asks the Board to reconsider but it is not clear whether this is in addition to proposed European Union (EU) funding as that is the agency the Government had approached for assistance, nor what the total amount will be for funding the repairs.
The Magistrate’s Court has since relocated across town to Coney Drive, while the other part of the High Court remains down at the former National Bank of Belize Building on Regent Street. A judicial complex is being planned to be housed along Lake Independence Boulevard in a public-private sector partnership.
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