Public sector workers will get salary increases – Jagdeo
…says Opposition deliberately misleading public servants
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has dismissed “false claims” being peddled by the Opposition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) that there will be no wage and salary increases in 2021 for public servants.
During an appearance on an online programme hosted by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Sherod Duncan on Friday shortly after the presentation of the 2021 National Budget in the National Assembly, former Finance Minister Winston Jordan claimed public servants got nothing in the budget.
“There is nothing in the budget for public servants… They are in for a rough ride over the next four years if the Government continues…They got nothing in 2020 and nothing in 2021,” Jordan posited.
However, refuting this, VP Jagdeo in a statement on social media pointed out that the APNU/AFC continues to mislead their supporters and the Guyanese public.
“The latest episode of this is the false claim that there will be no wages and salary increase in 2021 for public servants,” he noted.
On the contrary, the Vice President went on to disclose that billions of dollars have, in fact, been set aside for wages and salaries for the public sector.
“The fact is that over $10 billion has been budgeted in the estimates under the head, ‘Revision of Wages and Salaries’. A huge part of that sum will go towards salary increases for public sector workers,” Jagdeo explained.
Meanwhile, during his presentation of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government’s first full-year budget on Friday, Senior Minister with responsibility of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, contrary to the Opposition’s claims, highlighted that the 2020 Emergency Budget provided immediate protection and relief to the long-suffering People of Guyana and breathed some life into the then moribund Guyanese economy.
“Budget 2020 provided for $7 billion of COVID-19 relief cash grants to households across Guyana, $2 billion of one-off grants to public sector employees, and $1 billion in year-end bonuses to front-line workers in the health sector and the Disciplined Services. It reversed punitive and draconian tax measures, such as the value-added tax (VAT) on electricity, water, and cellular phones, and it restored a subsidy on water charges for senior citizens,” Dr Singh noted.
Further, the Finance Minister outlined that in recognition of the hardship of COVID-19, Government has also been clear and unwavering in its commitment to place frontline responders first as the country combats the pandemic.
“In 2020, we put $1.1 billion in the hands of over 19,000 health workers and members of the Disciplined Services. Additionally, a one-off payment was made to all public sector employees, benefiting more than 60,000 at a cost of almost $2 billion. Additionally, while some countries around the world reduced working hours and associated salaries for their workers as part of their pandemic response, this Government retained all public servants at full pay while allowing a rotational work system and work from home systems, where applicable, to mitigate disease transmission,” Minister Singh reminded.