The Senate met today in Belmopan to ratify Bills that had been through their third reading at the last Sitting of the House of Representatives, on Friday, 19th June, 1998.
Among Bills now passed by the Senate are the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 1998; the Belizean Nationality (Amendment) Bill, 1998; the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 1998; the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 1998 and the Families and Children Bill, 1998.
The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill seeks to exempt all employed persons resident in Belize and earning less than $20,000 per annum from the payment of income tax; increases the basic allowance for all employed taxpayers resident in Belize to $19,600; abolishes corporate income tax; provides for the imposition of a business tax on all self-employed persons, companies and other companies and other entities in lieu of income tax; rationalizes the tax structure and makes it more equitable.
The Belizean Nationality (Amendment) Bill provides for the definition of economic citizenship and makes better provisions relating to economic citizenship.
The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, among other things, seeks to abolish the offense of attempted suicide; modifies and rationalizes the provisions related to the defence of provocation a charge of murder; creates new offenses of obtaining a money transfer by deception and dishonestly retaining a wrongful credit; provides for special juries in certain cases; modernizes the law of evidence in both criminal and civil cases and protects women from unfair cross-examination in trials for sexual offenses.
The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill gives effect to the proposals of the Elections and Boundaries Commission made under Section 90 of the Belize Constitution for the redivision of electoral divisions.
And the Families and Children Bill provides for reform and consolidation of the law providing for the care, protection and maintenance of children and making provisions with respect to the fostering and adoption of children, among others.
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