By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The route taken by the APNU+AFC Government to increase the remuneration for Minister, Vice Presidents and Parliamentary Officials has been defended by Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams who insisted that the process was transparent.
This is after the government would have received scathing criticisms for the increases at this time given the state of the economy. The Government was also criticized for the manner in which it executed the increases even after telling the nation that there were no immediate plans for an increase.
Williams told reporters on Monday that the process was “transparent.”
“I think it’s transparent; don’t you? It can’t be something hidden because it has to be laid in parliament…it has to be approved in parliament,” Williams said in response to a question from iNews.
The Government currently has a one-seat majority in the National Assembly hence the motion would be passed when laid in the House.
GTUC General Secretary Lincoln Lewis on Friday stated that while the Union is concerned about the manner in which the increase were administered, it believes that wages should be increased for everyone – including politicians.
“We believe in a wage led economy and we can’t believe in a wage led economy and condemn the increase. We are not against the increase in wages or salaries. What we are concerned about in the process in which it has been applied to deliver it,” said Lewis.
Other civil society groups such as the Guyana Teacher Union, Red Thread and Transparency International are among the voices of critics against the move by the government.
The order for the increases was made on September 23, by Finance Minister Winston Jordan.