By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of State Joseph Harmon says that the recently revealed increase in salaries to Government Ministers and other officials are justifiable.
Harmon, speaking to the media on Tuesday, made it clear that the Government has no apologies to make for increasing the salaries of Government Officials even after it had publicly stated that it wasn’t proceeding along that line.
According to Harmon, before the increase the salary of a Minister a senior Minister is (was) $500,000 per month – “that is money I paid to my attorneys who worked with me when I was in private practice.”
He said “it is justifiable, we cannot have a situation like the PPP where they were prepared to accept low salaries because they were thieving money all over the place…we cannot have that”
The Minister of State posited that if the government wants to get the best out of its officials then, paying them well would be sure way to go.
“We have to pay people well if we want them to perform. I am not going to say that I make any apologies whatsoever for Ministers getting increase in salaries, they deserve it.”
In an Extraordinary Official Gazette published on September 25, it was noted that the order for the increases was made on September 23, by Finance Minister Winston Jordan.
According to the order, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo will now be paid $20,580,000 per annum which works out to just over $1.7M per month.
Vice Presidents will receive $11,135,064 per annum or $927,000 per month. Senior government Ministers are slated for a $10M annual salary at 869,000 per month while Junior Ministers will receive close to $700,000 per month.
Parliamentarians will also be paid $2, 402,532 each year. Increases were also given to the Chief Whips and the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.