The President should give workers a one-off 10% wage increase now

Dear Editor,

Mr Bharrat Jagdeo and his associates presented a vision to the Guyanese people way back in 2006 of building a modern and prosperous Guyana. The question to ask almost a decade later is ‒ have they?

They promised the people to advance the transformation of the country with their plans to:

1.  Modernise the sugar industry ‒ did they?

2.  Establish an ICT industry with e-governance, business-process operations and high quality software engineering solutions ‒ did they?

3.  Launch an agri-diversification and export plan that would have seen the opening up of thousands of acres of new lands to plant pumpkin, plantains, pineapples and pepper for export ‒ did they?

4.  Launch a livestock and aquaculture regeneration plan to make Guyana into the meat exporting and fish exporting hub of Caricom ‒ did they?

5.  Launch a low carbon initiative that was supposed to release hundreds of millions of dollars for economic transformation ‒ did they?

This PPP score sheet clearly establishes that Jagdeoism has failed on all counts, and it has in the process rendered the PPP into a failed political party not fit to lead this nation.  How much more can the people take of the PPP highway to nowhere?

My deepest worry is that we have lost a decade and the vast majority of Guyanese workers are left behind while a small group of Jagdeoites have become well off, while the majority of workers continue to cope in poverty.  For how much longer will the workers bear the strain?

Economically, politically and socially this is a very unhealthy situation. The facts are that the have-nots are well aware of why they are where they are, and many are prepared to send a stronger message to those whom they believed have plundered their patrimony.

Leaders who do not know their history are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past, and yet the PPP has not learnt how to lead in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society.  The key to Guyana moving forward is healthy growth rates of 7–8 per cent as were achieved in the Asgar Ally/Cheddi Jagan administration, and a better system of distributing the wealth of the nation to more of the people.

That is why I humbly advise the President to make the radical decision of giving all workers a one-off wage increase of 10 per cent now, a position the AFC has been lobbying for since 2012.  This move will take much pressure out of the political pot in Guyana where the vast majority will do anything to feed their family. History will forever remember this year if the President acts presidentially and leads from the front by offering the people a wage increase that will truly ease the burden.

Five per cent cannot work and is a recipe for greater political activism, which clearly is not in the PPP’s best political interest.

Yours faithfully,

Sasenarine Singh

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