Members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) should not put too much hope into the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government’s election promise of a 20 per cent pay hike.
On Monday, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said the 2016 Budget does not cater for another $50,000 bonus nor the 20 per cent increase in salaries for the police.
Ramjattan, while responding to questions from his predecessor Clement Rohee of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), said a 20 per cent hike “has not been catered for.”
He added that, in relation to the $50,000 bonus which was paid to all public servants as well as the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force last year, he is not in a position at this time to say whether this will be paid, but based on all indications “it doesn’t appear so.”
Finance Minister Winston Jordan had said recently that government could not keep its election promise to pay the Guyana Police Force higher salaries because the coffers could not afford it.
He blamed the $12 billion which government had to divert to the bail-out of the Guyana Sugar Corporation when it assumed office, as well as the $3 billion which had to be paid to rice farmers after Venezuela did not pay for rice and paddy supplied, and also, the financing of a foreign policy campaign to counter Venezuela’s aggression over the Essequibo Region as responsible for not being able to pay the increase.
“It is not a campaign promise wasn’t kept! Yes, on the surface it wasn’t kept but it was not because of bad-mind or whatever sake we didn’t keep it. The fact is we just didn’t have the resources to do,” he said.
On the campaign trail leading up to the May 11, 2015 General and Regional Elections, the APNU/AFC coalition promised a 20 per cent increase in salaries to members of the security services, sugar workers and public servants.
Already in 2015, the Government did not pay the security forces the usual one-month tax-free salary in December, but instead opted to give them the $50,000 tax-free bonus which was given to public servants. (Guyana Times)