President Donald Ramotar says the proposed five per cent salary increase announced last week is above the current inflation rate and is not likely to exceed this sum as the treasury cannot afford more at this point.
In an interview held at Office of the President yesterday, Ramotar also referred to the $32B budget cuts imposed by the opposition which he said could have brought in revenue in the long run.
“Important developmental projects are cut like the Amaila Falls which would have been about 25 percent of our GDP… the Unions have not said anything about the cuts, even though they have an impact on the development of our economy,” he said, according to a report from the Government Information Agency (GINA). The press release said that the Amaila Falls project, which was voted down by the combined opposition, would have seen significant wealth creation and employment opportunities.
Since Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon announced the five percent pay hike last week the Guyana Public Service Union and some workers have staged picketing exercises; expressing dissatisfaction with the proposed increase.
However, the president noted that “The increase that we are giving is way above the inflation rate. The half-year economic review that was presented to the Parliament, inflation was less than two percent.” Ramotar said sound economic policies employed by government have contained inflation to single digits over the last few years.