‘No salary hike for President’

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Finance Minister Winston Jordan

…Finance Ministry slams mischievous report on PPP blog

MINISTER of Finance, Winston Jordan, on Tuesday, rubbished a Citizens Report article, which alleged that President David Granger increased his salary in 2019.

Describing the article as “patently false,” the Finance Minister, who did not mince words in his response, said the reporters of Citizens Report should become more acquainted with the tenets of good reporting, rather than pander to their handlers.

“Had there been an increase in the President’s salary, there would have been a corresponding increase in the pensions received by the three ex-Presidents – Bharat Jagdeo, Samuel Hinds and Donald Ramotar. If Citizen’s Report was not so bent on causing public mischief, a quick check of the pensions of any of the three ex-Presidents would have shown that they have remained the same since 2015,” Minister Jordan said in a statement.
He said it was Jagdeo, who while serving as president, caused the law governing Presidential pensions to be changed to 7/8 of the salary of the current President, instead of 7/8 of the salary of the President at the time he demits office.

“It is unfortunate, as we enter the elections season, that the issue of a well-deserved increase in wages and salaries for public servants, who, under the PPP/C administration, were financially impoverished and subjected to poor working conditions, should be twisted into a blatantly false claim,” Minister Jordan said.

The latest increase in the minimum wage represents an overall increase of 77 per cent since the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition took office in 2015. According to the Minister Jordan, the increase is a tangible demonstration of the government’s commitment to building a Good Life For All Guyanese, as the country enters the Decade of Development.

In December 2019, the Granger Administration increased public servants’ wages and salary by 8.5 per cent for those who were earning between $100,000 and $1M. Those who were earning less than 100,000 at the time received a nine per cent increase while the minimum wage, within the public service, climbed to $70,000 from $64,200. All of the increases were tax-free and retroactive to January 1, 2019.

Additionally, Cabinet increased the allowances for health sector workers. Station allowances were increased by over 260 per cent from $2,800 to $10,000; Hinterland allowances were from $4000 and $12,000 to $24,000; Risk allowance was increased by nine hundred percent from $500 to $5000; uniform allowance for health sector workers was increased from $13,000 and $22,135 to $15,000 and $30,000; and On-call allowance for doctors was also increased.

The finance minister made it clear that the Constitutional Order, signed by him on December 2, 2019, was issued well within the life of the Parliament, which was dissolved on December 29, 2019. He said it was unfortunate that attempts were made to impugn the Constitutional Order.