President says… Salary increases an investment in quality, efficiency, good governance – admits decision was ‘a difficult one’

President David Granger

PRESIDENT David Granger has described the move by his administration to increase the salaries of the Prime Minister, Ministers, Members of Parliament and the opposition’s yearly allocation as an “investment in efficiency, quality and good governance.”Speaking at the recording of the Ministry of the Presidency’s “Public Interest” programme on Friday, President Granger said that while the decision was a difficult one, it was decided on in the best interest of the country.
“As far as the salary increases are concerned, we had to make some choices, and choices were made in order to assure the public of the efficiency and commitment of the ministers…It was a difficult choice in the first place. It was not something that we did recklessly. We had to consider all of the options and in the final analysis we felt that this was the best means of ensuring that the work of the Cabinet would continue,” he said.
The President’s remarks follow a public outcry over the move to increase salaries of government ministers, members of parliament and the opposition. Granger said that in order to attract the best qualified people to serve at this level, certain sacrifices have to be made.
“Many of the members were professionals and some came from private enterprises. We are trying to ensure that the coalition’s Cabinet is such that there is a high level of efficiency. The changes have been an investment in quality governance,” President Granger said.
The President believes that while there are criticisms, he is confident that in the future, Guyanese will appreciate the merit of regularising and upgrading the incomes of the country’s most senior officials.
“I am aware of the criticisms but we have to make choices every day and the choice was made in favour of having a stronger Cabinet and allowing those persons who have been selected to fulfil their functions and I am confident that this will be done. In the middle term, I believe people will see that as a good decision…I believe that in time to come, evidence would emerge that we made the correct decision,” he said.
President Granger noted that it is now his job to ensure that his Cabinet does the work that is necessary to bring about transformative change in Guyana. He also urged all citizens to continue to hold their leaders’ accountable, so as to ensure that they serve the country well.
In an Extraordinary Official Gazette dated September 25, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo received a 10 per cent increase that will now see him being paid $20,580,000 per annum.
Vice Presidents will receive $11,135,064 per annum while senior government ministers are to receive $10,439,124 per annum. Junior Ministers will receive just over $8,346,492 per annum. The Attorney General will receive the same salary as the Chancellor of the Judiciary; Speaker of the National Assembly is to receive $10,439,124 per annum.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition will also receive $10,439,124 while Parliamentary Secretary is to receive $3,753, 984 per annum. The Deputy Speaker will receive $2,702,880 and Chief Whip will receive $2,682,360 per annum. Every other member of the National Assembly will receive $2,402,532 per annum.
Earlier this year, government announced a 5 per cent salary increase for public servants.