Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, while responding to questions on whether the recent 8% retroactive salary increase for public sector workers is sufficient with the current high cost of living, highlighted that this increase is not the only measure by the government to ease the cost of living.
“If you look at, on the whole, how much has been given back to the people of this country on the tax measures that we reversed under APNU, that’s $40 billion less in taxes that people have to pay. Public servants pay that too. Had we retained those taxes with the increase in cost of living globally, it would have been worse.”
He emphasised that this increase must be viewed amidst the backdrop of multiple cash grants and increased job opportunities for Guyanese that have also helped citizens to better manage the impact of cost of living.
These interventions included the provision of 11,000 part-time jobs, which allowed formerly unemployed Guyanese to be able to earn an income.
Additionally, $6bn in cash grants were distributed for children. An additional $12bn in other one of cash grants were distributed for flood relief, fisherfolk, persons with disabilities, covid-19 relief, etc.
The Government had also implemented a number of other measures including the removal of the excise tax on fuel, capping freight charges used in calculating import taxes, providing fertiliser and other support to farmers to boost food production.
The Vice President added that further incentives are coming.
“The pension was increased by $8000, 40% since we got into office. We said we would double it in the five years. That alone is another 8 billion dollars.”
Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag had further stated in parliament that money will continue to be budgeted annually for retroactive salary increases for public servants.