1-month bonus, housing assistance for soldiers

– “Spend it wisely” – Ali

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Dr Irfaan Ali on Wednesday announced that soldiers, in keeping with his Government’s commitment, will once again benefit from a one-month bonus this year.
President Ali was at the time addressing the Guyana Defence Force’s Annual Christmas Luncheon. The bonus, which is usually tax-free, will be in addition to the 8 per cent salary increase as well as the salary adjustments the Head of State had previously announced for the Army.
“As you know, we had some difficult years. When your one-month annual bonus was taken away (by APNU/AFC). You remember that? So, in addition to all the benefits I just spoke about… in keeping with our commitment to our men and women in uniform, again I wish to announce your one-month bonus for this year,” President Ali said, to cheers and applause from the disciplined services members, urging them to “spend it wisely”.
Meanwhile, President Ali also revealed that soldiers would receive Government’s assistance in building their homes. He urged them to sign up with the banks under their home support programme.
Additionally, President Ali announced that on the Government’s initiative, representatives of the various banks would be present at Base Camp Ayanganna on December 28, to help the soldiers with their home plans – free of cost. Additionally, he told them that they could be approved for their loans on the spot.
“A few weeks ago, I was able to announce some adjustments in the salaries of the Privates, the recruit, acting Corporal and Corporals. And as I said, better days are ahead. I also said that we want to work with you to ensure you have homeownership. And to reduce the bureaucracy and all the complexities surrounding you obtaining a loan.
“We’ve been able to negotiate with three commercial banks and the New Building Society. Interest rates of 3.5 per cent of loans below $4 million. And 3.75 per cent of loans below $8 million. Further, for all who have already been allocated your land, not only will you benefit from this low interest rate, but you will benefit from the steel and cement that will be input from the Government to move you to homeownership,” President Ali said.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces went on to outline his vision for the GDF, calling on ranks to continue to serve their country with pride and dignity. He noted that his vision for the Army included new equipment, so they would be adequately equipped to do their job.
“As the Chief of Staff said, we’re now moving on enhancing the infrastructure of the military. Air Corps, new assets. Coast Guard, new assets. Military equipment, new assets. We’re investing to give you the best equipment, so you can be the best you can be for your country,” Ali said.

One week after announcing across-the-board salary increases for all public servants, President Ali had further rolled out additional salary adjustments for members of the Joint Services last month. These adjustments will see ranks getting pay raises ranging from 5.8 per cent to 21.7 per cent.
This pay hike, which will take effect from January 2023, was announced for ranks at varying levels within each of the Joint Services’ agencies.
According to President Ali, these increases will address the anomalies and disparities in the Disciplined Forces as it relates to comparable positions and differentiated levels of experience. He added too that there was a mindfulness of the need to improve competitiveness, particularly at the entry level, so that the Disciplined Forces continue to be an attractive employment prospect for young people in Guyana. (G3)