Jagdeo pushes for one-month tax-free bonus to public servants, police, soldiers

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…and sugar workers

Former Guyanese Head of State and current Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has called on the Government to provide the conventional one-month tax-free bonuses to members of the Disciplined Services, and all other public servants – as well as those workers in the sugar sector.

Dr Jagdeo is adamant that there is capacity within the Government via the Treasury to facilitate this, as is evidence from its recent transferal of $8B from the accounts of Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to the nation’s Consolidated Fund in secrecy.

Dr Bharrat Jagdeo
Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“It’s a large sum of money. It was done quietly and, therefore, they have the fiscal space,” Dr Jagdeo told reporters during a press conference earlier today.

The Opposition Leader explained that by reinstating the yearly initiative it would fundamentally mean more disposable income for spending, especially in this period when the country is still in a deep economic decline.

Dr Jagdeo further asserted that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was adumbrating its position since the fiscal space is available, coupled with the fact that public servants did not receive from the Government what had been promised in terms of their salary increase.

He said police, soldiers, fire fighters and prison service personnel should not be the only ones who should receive the one-month bonus, but also all public servants. Dr Jagdeo said sugar workers should also be paid 5 percent wage increases for 2015 and 2016.

He added that the unilateral increase that was handed out last month to Public Servants has proven that the Collective Bargaining Agreement process has effectively been abandoned and that the administration has effectively been embarking on a course of destroying good industrial relations.

The former President also noted that the measure should be announced separately or during the 2017 Budget presentation to be held on Monday. (Ramona Luthi)

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