Finance Minister says 15% pension increase will be delivered

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Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan
Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Finance, Winston Jordon has assured that the pension boost that the APNU+AFC government pledged during the election as part its 100 -day plan will be delivered.

The government’s pledge was that pensioners will get $1,968.25 or a 15 percent hike in their pension, which currently stands at $13,125 per month.

“We are going to make certain the pensioner gets at least what was in the 100 – day agreement and I think it was $15,000. We are going to ensure that pensioners can get at least that,” the Finance Minister said.

The ministry is also examining the other benefits that pensioners receive.

“We won’t want to take away any benefit that pensioners have enjoyed over the past, but we want to look at the mechanisms; how it has been given out, because some people prefer to have the money in their hand and they make the choice.”

He added that, “For example if a subsidy for a pensioner on electricity works out to be about $1000 per month,  and  water, let us say is $500, some people would prefer you give the $1500 plus the  regular pension and they’ll make the determination.”

As it relates salary increases for public servants, Minister Jordon noted that the government will be “the first to admit that salaries are not where they are,” but noted, “You have to have a plan about taking them where you want to be, it cannot be a one shot thing.”

The Minister said that salary should be a part of the compensation package, and that that increases must also be premised on productivity increases otherwise “you are just going to a circle which is the easiest part but then you thus encourage inflation which will have an impact on competiveness and an overall impact on the country.”

 He said that salary increase is one of the issues on the government’s front burner, but one that will be done in a sustainable manner.

“I could give you 10% today and by year-end you probably give me back 11% in taxes or more, so it has to be in a menu of measures that we have to look at to lift public servants who have stagnated over the years,” he said.

The Minister said that he knows for a fact the allowances for some public servants have not moved much in 20 years. [Extracted and modified from GINA]

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