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Trade Union Congress announces ‘boycott’ of IMF consultations

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Posted: Thursday, February 22, 2024. 11:38 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: In advance of the annual Article IV consultation visit to Belize usually held in March, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) has written Jaime Guajardo, Senior Economist at the Research department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and mission chief for Belize, to announce that “we will boycott all further consultations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

The Congress complains of being treated “as a checkbox” while recommendations to the Government appear to be weighted against public sector workers and middle and working-class citizens, many of whom the NTUCB’s member unions represent.

“The NTUCB aligns itself with the criticisms that the IMF’s structural adjustment programs that impose harsh austerity measures on debtor nations, lead to widespread poverty, unemployment, and social unrest. These measures further deepened the economic inequalities and undermined the sovereignty of the countries that are forced to comply with the IMF’s demands,” Congress President Luis Martinez wrote.

Martinez urges the IMF to reconsider its approach, listen properly to impacted communities, and strengthen its social dialogue policy and properly consult with labourers on the way forward.

The IMF’s reports have often suggested reducing the wage bill for the public service by cutting jobs for public officers and increasing tax measures such as the General Sales Tax (GST).

However, both the past and present governments have made a point of paying minimal heed to the recommendations for reason of not alienating the Belizean public

 

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