Jagdeo welcomes bonus for public servants

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has welcomed the bonus announced by the government today for public servants earning under $500,000 per annum.

A statement by the Opposition Leader follows:

The $50,000 one-off, tax-free, bonus that will be paid to public servants earning below $500,000 monthly is a welcomed disclosure by the Government.

I am extremely happy that public servants will be benefiting from this bonus, particularly since they deserve it.

Public servants in 2015 did not benefit from salary increases that were retroactive from January 1st of the year. Instead the salary increases were retroactive from July 1st. As such, public servants, while receiving a $50,000 bonus, did not receive the full year’s benefit of the salary increase, as was done in previous years – leaving them worse off in a net sense.

Additionally, the announcement from the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Government follows claims that the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Administration had left a bankrupt country, yet $1.54B was found to pay public servants.

I am disappointed at the fact that the year is almost to an end and sugar workers have not been paid any wage increases, nor an Annual Production Incentive (API) – despite the fact that Government has announced that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has surpassed its production target. This is the first time in several years that sugar workers have been treated in this manner.

I am also disappointed in the fact that Government has demonstrated an unwillingness to assist rice farmers and gold miners, despite calls and recommendations of measures that can be taken to support these industries.

Of note, is that the measures of support announced by the Administration, when matched against other actions taken, leaves Guyanese worse off in a net sense. While some public servantswill benefit from the $50,000 bonus, Guyanese have seen the removal of the $1.67B cash grant for all public school children, the removal of electricity and water subsidies for pensioners and the removal of other support measures – all aimed at improving the livelihoods of our people.

Government support should not leave Guyanese worse of, in a net sense.

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