Jan 31, 2017 kaieteur
awarded to its presidents and ministers over a 17-year period were not only “unconscionable” but “utterly disgraceful.”
The First Vice President’s remarks came on the heels of statistics revealed by Minister of Finance Winston Jordan in the National Assembly yesterday. Jordan was at the time, responding to a question posed by Government Member of Parliament, Jermaine Figueira.
Figueira asked the Finance Minister to present to the National Assembly the annual increases in salaries for public servants and ministers and presidents for the period 1998 to 2014.
Minister Jordan revealed that total salary increases for public servants for the period amounts to 164.7%, mainly in single digit increments.
However, the economist disclosed that the salaries of the then PPP ministers of government increased, over the same period, by a whopping 220.5%, some 55% more than the public servants increase.
Minister Jordan further revealed that the salary of the president, during the same period increased by a mammoth 386.5%, more than 220% over the increase in public servants for the same period.
It was noted that former President and Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, served as President from 1999 until 2011. While Donald Ramotar served as President from 2011 to 2015.
Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo said, “It is utterly disgraceful that the post-Jagan Cabinet bureaucracy grabbed an average 300% salary hike between 1998 and 2014.
They ‘helped’ the poor public servants over this period by giving a total of 164%, mostly in five percent doses but in 17 years; the PPP Ministers were paid a more than handsome 220% salary increase.”
The First Vice President said that the Presidents helped themselves to the full trough by taking 386% increase in salary.
He added, “Now we know how fat these cats had become in political office.”
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, in 2006 alone, the then President Bharrat Jagdeo was given an enormous 273% salary increase while in the same year, his ministers benefitted from an 89.5% increase.
The largest single increase public servants received was in 1999 when a 31% increased was granted. In 2000 a 26% increases was provided but for the next 14 years only on two occasions were increases in the double digits.
In eight of those years the public servants salary increase was five per cent, including in 2006 when the President and his ministers received an immense ‘top up’.
Yesterday’s sitting of the National Assembly was the 60th sitting of the 11th Parliament and was designated Private Members Day.
SALARY INCREASES UNDER THE PPP/C GOVT 1998 – 2014
Source: Minister of Finance Hon. Winston Jordan. National Assembly, January 30, 2017