After first declaring that the salary he was being paid as a Government Minister was the same that he paid to new attorneys at his law firm when he was in private practice, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, has now decided to start donating the increases in his salary as a government Minister to various communities.
According to a statement, the move is “in keeping with the mandate of the government to provide a good life for all Guyanese, has begun donating his salary increases in aid of street lights, for several villages across the country.”
Speaking at the People’s National Congress Reform ‘s Regional Conference held today at the Vreed en Hoop Secondary School, Minister Harmon noted that he had been approached by the residents of Poudreyen, West Bank Demerara, for street lights to be installed in preparation for Village day 2015. It was reported that the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) did not have a budgetary allocation for the installation of Street lights.
“I took my salary for the month of June and I gave it to the people of Poudreyen to run their lights,” Minister Harmon said.
Soon after, he was approached by residents of Crane Housing Scheme, who were facing a similar problem. “I promised them that I would do something for them and so today I donate to the people of Crane, the value of the salary increase I received for this month,” he said.
According to the statement, “this was followed by the Minister handing over a cheque for the sum of two hundred, seventeen thousand dollars ($217,000) to Mr. Bowman, a resident of the Crane Housing Scheme, for the installation of street lights, which will be placed from the highway, into the Housing Scheme.”
Minister Harmon has promised to donate his November increase to the community of Angoys Avenue, New Amsterdam, Berbice and the December salary increase will be given to a community on the Essequibo Coast.
He encouraged those present to become their brother’s keeper and to assist the government in the pursuit of its goal of national unity.
The government had come under widespread criticism for its decision to increase the salaries of government ministers and all members of parliament at rates between 19% and 50%.