The Alliance For Change (AFC) believes that the eight percent salary increase announced by President Irfaan Ali is another “meagre, miserly increase and maltreatment meted out to public servants.”
President Ali on Thursday informed the nation that public sector employees would be tapping into the eight percent hike, which would be retroactive from January 2, 2022.
“It is dismissive of our hardworking policemen, nurses, teachers, and other public servants cries for a piece of the pie, and it is a perpetuation of its disdainful treatment inflicted during its previous terms in office,” says AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan, during his party’s weekly press conference on Friday.
The AFC Leader pointed out the strike action two decades ago, which resulted in the Armstrong Tribunal. In fact, he noted that it was only when the Coalition Administration took office in 2015 that it started to deliver substantial increases for these workers.
“There can be no excuse this time around that the coffers are empty. The Coalition Government left the PPP with an oil bonanza that today is effectively $1.5B (US) dollars. Moreover, the effect of present-day inflation on the purchasing power of public servants requires more than the 7% and 8% increases the PPP Government unilaterally has granted.”
Moreover, Ramjattan reasoned that with inflation on a high, public servants deserve “superior increases.”
“The government has mocked and humiliated the public servants by denying this increase from the beginning of the year. To now deliver it as a lump sum in December month when they were struggling from January to November is uncaring and reprehensible,” Ramjattan contended.
To this end, he called for an across-the-board increase and widened the gap in income inequality among the various salary scales. He also noted that the increase should be non-taxable.
“It is clear that the PPP government really and truly does not care about our public servants and, in general, the workers of our nation. If they did, it would be reflected in their decisions and policies and would have meant a better increase in salaries,” the AFC leader contended.