President of Guyana Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has announced an eight per cent across-the-board retroactive increase to public servants, teachers, members of the disciplined services, constitutional office holders, as well as government pensioners.
According to the Department of Public Information, President Ali also announced that an adjustment to the salaries of junior ranks of the Police Force, Prison Service, Fire Service and specific categories of employees in the public healthcare system, including nurses, interns, doctors and other healthcare professionals will be announced next week.
The president made the live announcement on Thursday evening, via his official Facebook page.
He emphasised the government’s appreciation for the hard work of public sector employees in delivering services to the people of Guyana, and stated that work will start immediately to ensure the increase is processed and paid to eligible employees with their December salary.
He noted too that options will be identified for the adjustment of salaries to a number of specific categories of public sector employees, to be announced within the coming week.
“These include, in the first phase, ranks of the Police Force, Prison Service, and Fire Service. Additionally, a similar exercise is currently being conducted and recommendations being made in relation to specific categories of employees in our public healthcare system, including nurses, interns, doctors, and other healthcare professionals,” he outlined.
These commitments by the government fall against the backdrop of a number of other measures implemented since its assumption to office in August 2020, with the aim of improving disposable incomes to public sector employees and Guyanese at large.
These include the payment of a 7 per cent across-the-board increase in 2021; the restoration of one-month tax-free year-end bonuses to the disciplined services totalling more than $1 billion per annum; an increase of some 40 per cent in the monthly old-age pension from $20,500 to $28,000, providing a total pension payout of more than $21 billion to senior citizens; an increase of 55 per cent in public assistance payments from $9,000 to $14,000 monthly, which provided a total of more than $3 billion in annual income support to the beneficiaries of the programme, among other interventions.
Other noteworthy incentives include the restoration of the cash grants to the parents of school-aged children, totalling some $6 billion in direct cash transfers, and an increase in the minimum wage for private sector employees by 36 per cent to $60,147, in keeping with the recommendations of the tripartite committee.
“Needless to say, these and other similar measures augmented the many other steps taken by our government to remove the punitive taxes that had been imposed by APNU/AFC on electricity, water, medical and educational supplies, basic household necessities, and basic construction materials,” President Ali noted.
Government had also implemented a number of measures to mitigate the effects of the rise in cost of living, most notably 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, and direct cash transfers to especially vulnerable communities.
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