[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo says 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 APNU+AFC Government.
“I am extremely happy that public servants will be benefiting from this bonus, particularly since they deserve it,” Jagdeo said in a statement issued on Monday, December 14, 2015.
However, he noted that the public servants are worse off, pointing out that in 2015, they 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,” the Opposition Leader said.
Jagdeo finds it ironic that the new government can find $1.54B to pay the bonus even while accusing the former PPP government of leaving a bankrupt country.
“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.”
According to Jagdeo, “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.”
He further noted that “the measures of support announced by the Administration, when matched against other actions taken, leave Guyanese worse off in a net sense. While some public servants will 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.”