BELIZE CITY, Wed. Mar. 24, 2021– The Cabinet met on Wednesday to discuss urgent challenges facing the country. Possibly the most urgent of these matters involves the ongoing discussion between the government of Belize and the Joint Union Negotiation Team regarding the proposed salary cuts for public officers and teachers that is expected to be included in the national budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
According to the Cabinet brief posted by the Government of Belize Press Office on Wednesday, the government’s budget consultation team updated Cabinet on their most recent response to the union’s latest correspondence and their intention to continue those discussions in good faith.
Further, the Cabinet also tabled and approved a plan presented by the Ministry of Education which would allow for the “phased return of face-to-face instruction of schools at all levels and sectors across the country beginning April 12, 2021.” This gives educators just over two weeks to prepare to meet with students for the first time in over a year.
The Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Industry was also an area of focus, as the Cabinet took note of their efforts to improve investor confidence, boost competitiveness and modernize the sector altogether. This is reportedly being achieved through the consolidation and modernization of the law framework for companies in Belize.
Cabinet also approved the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations’ National Tourism Recovery Plan, which is intended to “place Belize’s tourism sector back on path with pre-pandemic growth trends, and motivate the sector to embrace a more market-centric, digitally inclined and resilient future.”
The Cabinet also heard from the Ministry of the Blue Economy and Civil Aviation regarding the planned modernization of Belize’s Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System. Approval was given for the Ministry’s recommendations, which include modernizing the oversight system to address the current problems in the system, considering future hiring of more aviation professionals that will allow for management of future growth in the aviation industry, putting measures in place to allow for revenue collection from aviation activities, and seeking funding for the continued implementation of the modernization of Belize’s aviation safety and oversight system.
Finally, the Cabinet also heard from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration, Hon. Eamon Courtenay, regarding a successful meeting between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belize and the Republic of Guatemala, during which both ministers expressed a desire to improve the bilateral relationship, especially in the areas of trade, as well as the importance of maintaining dialogue and implementation of the 2005 Confidence Building Measures.