The Briceno Administration is moving ahead with the implementation of a 5-dollar minimum wage. A consultancy firm has been contracted to hold nationwide consultation after which it will produce a report with recommendations for a gradual increase in the minimum wage. PM John Briceno conceded that a five-dollar minimum wage is not enough in today’s world.
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “What we said in Plan Belize that we’re prepared to raise the minimum wage to five dollars but we do recognize that there must be some kind of mechanism where you can periodically look at the minimum wage and whether any adjustments need to be done. The point I want to make I that we understand that but we also have to be realistic. We could go and say raise the minimum wage to ten dollars, to twenty dollars, to thirty dollars but what would happen to businesses ? It’s going to shut down and then it would create an incredible amount of inflation that can lead us to devaluation. So we have to find this balancing act that we have to do that we can’t raise the minimum wage faster than what the economy can absorb and at this time even at the five dollars it is going to create some difficulties because for instance then that means that people that go and work in the homes and clean homes or instance they have to be paid five dollars an hour and so some housewives it will be difficult, some families it will be difficult now to continue to pay their people that come to their house to clean and to cook and so we have to find a balancing act. I wish it was easy but it’s not.”