Public servants in Guyana to receive retroactive salary increases

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President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

By Mikaila Prince

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) –  His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali announced that public servants will be receiving salary increases before the end of 2021, during a press conference on Monday.

“Let me assure you first of all though… that the public servants will receive salary increases before the end of the year, and it will be retroactive. Let me be clear on that,” he said.

President Ali was keen to note that it is not his government’s vision for the discourse to only be about salary increases, rather, it is actively looking at mechanisms that would allow all public servants to live improved lives.

“We are looking at the mechanism that would allow every public servant to own their own home. They also benefited from the help with the COVID-19 cash grant. But we want to empower public servants so that their children too can benefit from the scholarship programme, many of whom are already benefitting. The public servants themselves are benefitting. It is that holistic approach that is necessary, and we are happy about this.”

In addition to housing and education programmes that are putting money back into the pockets of public servants, the government has also implemented measures to support citizens during the pandemic.

Those measures include the reversal of taxes on a slew of utilities and items, as well as the removal of value-added tax on electricity, water, healthcare, education and even construction material. The government estimates that those tax reversals automatically put billions back into the pockets of Guyanese.

Earlier this year, public servants also received a $25,000 one-off grant. A total $2 billion was budgeted for this initiative and it was said to benefit over 60,000 workers.

The beneficiaries of this grant include workers within the central government, statutory bodies, subvention agencies, public corporations, teachers, medical workers, members of the joint services, government pensioners and staff of the University of Guyana, to assist them with the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December, the government had also distributed a two-week, tax-free bonus to members of the disciplined services and frontline workers in the health sector. Further, citizens also benefited from the ongoing $25,000 COVID-19 relief cash grant. The two-week, tax-free bonus and the COVID-19 cash grant initiatives have already put over $8 billion of disposable income into the hands of Guyanese; $2 billion will take that figure pass $10 billion.

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