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APNU laments no salary increases for security forces

Opposition Leader, David Granger and Shadow Home Affairs Minister, Winston Felix

A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) on Tuesday expressed concern that there has been no salary hike in the 2014 National Budget for members of the security forces.

Shadow Home Affairs Minister, Winston Felix said the paltry salaries could do little to satisfy basic needs for members of the security force who risk their lives in the line of duty. “These are the very people who must put their lives on the line to prevent and detect crime, control traffic on the streets, confront armed and dangerous criminals, fight fires and maintain security of those criminals who are confined by sentence of a Court to a Correctional Institution,” said Felix, a former Police Commissioner, in his contribution to the 2014 Budget Debate.

Felix’s comments in the House during debate on the more than GUY$200 billion budget came less than one month after the Guyana Police Association (GPA) said it was pleased with the outcome of talks with Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee about an increase in salaries for members of the force. The GPA wants at least a 50 percent hike in salaries as well as an increase in various types of allowances.

Felix expressed concern that the security forces would suffer another year without any increases. Their allowances are horribly low in the face of the high cost of rent/mortgage, light bill, which is unstable, telephone and water bills,” he added.

The minimum salary of a constable is just under GUY$50,000, fuelling widespread speculation that many members of the police force depend on inducements.

The Guyana Police Force has said that at least half of the estimated 500 recruits leave that law enforcement agency ever year.