GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – Workers in Guyana’s sugar industry have been granted an eight per cent increase in salaries and wages.
Speaking during a recent press conference, Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo said the decision was made during Thursday’s Cabinet meeting.
He told reporters that the government continues to invest in the sugar industry which was shut down under the previous administration, placing more than 7,000 sugar workers and their families on the breadline.
Last month, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali announced the 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.
Adjustment to the salaries of junior ranks of the Police Force, Prison Service, Fire Service were also announced.
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 seven 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 GUY$1 billion per annum; an increase of 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.
The 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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