6.5% salary increase for Public Servants; tax-free bonus for Disciplined Services
All public servants, teachers, members of the Disciplined Services, holders of constitutional offices, and Government pensioners would receive an across-the-board 6.5 per cent pay rise for 2023, the Government announced on Friday.
In a live broadcast, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh stated, “This increase will be granted retroactively from 1st January 2023. The consequential salary adjustments will benefit over 54,000 public servants, teachers, members of the Disciplined Services, and Government pensioners, and will place an additional $7.5B in disposal income annually in the hands of these employees.”
Additionally, Dr Singh asserted that the Government recognises, and is now even more cognisant of the daily labour of public servants in providing services to the public, “in particular the continued dedication of our men and women in uniform.”
In light of this, he stated that the over 12,000 members of the Disciplined Services will get a one-month tax-free bonus from the Government. According to him, this incentive will be given to civilian Guyana Defence Force (GDF) workers for the first time.
This, he noted, will place an additional $1.5B in disposable income in their hands.
Dr Singh assured that “work will start immediately” to ensure all persons receive their salaries and bonuses no later than the designated payday for December.
Following the announcement, the Finance Minister said that the Government remains “firmly and unswervingly committed” to ensuring that all categories of workers enjoy a continuously improving standard of living, improved opportunities, and brighter prospects for the future.
“And even as we face these unprecedented challenges of our time, we remain firmly focused on the task of advancing and accelerating our development agenda aimed at realising, in the shortest possible time, improved well-being and prosperity for all Guyanese,” he added.
Public employees have received the following salary increases from the PPP Government since its return to office in August 2020: seven per cent in 2021, eight per cent in 2022, and now 6.5 per cent in 2023, for a total of 21.5 per cent over the last three years.
Additionally, the Government raised the income tax threshold from $65,000 to $75,000 in 2022 and then to $85,000 in 2023. It also reinstated the one-month tax-free bonus that was given to members of the Disciplined Services at the end of the year.
Last month, President Dr Irfaan Ali announced salary increases, incentives and allowances for teachers, a $25,000 one-time bonus for all public employees and pensioners, and a one-off $35,000 cash bonus for persons with disabilities (PWDs), all to be paid in December.
Approximately 67,000 public employees will gain from this one-time bonus including teachers, employees of semi-autonomous organisations, and members of the Disciplined Services.
A total of 19,000 PWDs stand to benefit.
Meanwhile, a total of 72,000 pensioners will benefit.
“These one-off bonus payments will benefit almost 160,000 persons and increase their disposable income by over $4.1 billion,” the Head of State had said.
These cash bonuses were introduced to help offset the rising cost of living, and the $5 billion cost-of-living fund included in the 2023 National Budget is what is being used to pay for them. (G1)