The Minister responsible for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh has defended the 8% salary increase for public servants for 2022 that was recently announced by the President.
Since the announcement, the Government has faced criticism from many public servants, the APNU+AFC opposition and the Guyana Public Service Union.
Speaking to reporters today, the Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, defended the 8% increase and indicated that the government had to take several considerations into account before granting the increase.
“There are a number of considerations that have to be taken on board in the determining the level of salary increase that would be granted including issues of sustainability, issues of parity, including issues of parity with the private sector,” the Finance Minister said.
The Finance Minister said the percentage chosen by the government reflects the optimal balance of the factors which had to be taken into consideration. He did not address what seems to be a widespread dissatisfaction of the 8% increase.
“We have an obligation as a responsible government to be mindful of the consequences that flow from the salary increase that we grant. We have to make sure that the salary increase that we grant doesn’t create distortions in the economy more broadly, we have to ensure that it doesn’t have inflationary consequences, so there are a number of balancing considerations that have to be taken on board and in arriving at whatever number we pay from year to year we weigh all of those considerations,” the Finance Ministers said.
On the question of salary disparity, the Minister said priority will be given to entry level positions across different parts of the public service with a view to resolve some of the inconsistencies.
The Opposition and the Union have said that it is clear that the Government did not take the current high cost of living into account when it came up with the 8% increase.