By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Women’s Rights advocacy group – Red Thread Guyana – says it is not accepting any of the explanations proffered by the Guyana Government over the increase of salaries to politicians saying the Administration should “reel and come again.”
Among other explanations give, the Minister of State Joseph Harmon had said that the increases being implemented were to discourage the possibly of corruption by Government Officials.
Governance Minister Raphael Trotman later explained that the increases bring a sense of parity between the three arms of Government –judicial, legislative and executive. He also urged that the electorate trust the APNU+AFC administration on the move.
“I am not even contemplating that argument. I am beginning from the position that you cannot come to me and say no no no we not raising pay then you turn around and raise the pay. Then say you’re not apologizing and try to justify it in all kinds of ways…I am not even taking any of the arguments of justifications on board. They are treating us as contemptuously as previous governments have treated us,” said Karen DeSouza, head of Red Thread Guyana.
She was at the time speaking at a protest outside the Ministry of the Presidency and the Office of the Prime Minister against the salary increases for the Prime Minister, Ministers and other Parliament office holders.
According to DeSouza, respect coming from the government for the population is “singularly lacking.” The activist says that at a minimum, the government should reverse its decision.
“They need to back off on these increases until the tax people have finished their considerations, until the public service people have completed their considerations,” she said.
DeSouza further stated that the government should to go back to the drawing board and come up with a strategic plan on how public servants are going to be paid a livable wage before increases are paid to politicians.
“I don’t care what Mr Trotman says…why should I trust him when his previous utterance was that we are not raising the pay…what they have to look at is what they are saying public servants should live on.”
“If they cant live on a million dollars how on earth are public servants to live on $50,000…they don’t pay these ridiculous light bills and water bills. So no, they need to reel and come again, they need to retreat, they need to regroup,” she stated.