Guyana’s main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) says it plans to refund the salary increases that have been approved for the Opposition Leader and parliamentarians in keeping with its position that the pay-hikes are astronomical.
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo told a news conference that the ministerial and parliamentary pay hikes could not be justified.
“The PPP members of parliament have received the increase and so we are discussing one of two options on how to proceed on this matter-either to return the money to the Treasury with a cheque or to hand it over every month to a charity but definitely the members on our side will not take the increase,” he said.
According to documents published in the Official Gazette last month, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo will be paid GUY$20,580,000 per annum, a 10 per cent increase on his present salary.
The four Vice Presidents will receive GUY$11,135,064 per annum, while senior government ministers will receive a new salary of GUY$10 million, a 50 per cent hike.
The Opposition Leader will also receive a 50 per cent increase bringing his new salary to GUY$10 million.
Other parliamentarians, will receive a 19 per cent increase, while the Speaker will get a 50 per cent increase.
Jagdeo told reporters that it was illogical for the government to claim that the economy was bankrupt while at the same time paying higher ministerial salaries.
The former finance minister accused government of failing to fulfill its promises of increased salaries and doubling of Old Age Pensions.
Jagdeo – who is also a former finance minister accused government of failing to fulfill its promises of increased salaries and doubling of Old Age Pensions. He said the cost of paying 26 ministers more would be higher than providing water subsidy for 44,000 pensionsers.
Government has argued that it needed to increase the salaries to avoid a loss of income, similar to what they had earned as professionals in the private sector.