Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 October 2015, 1:14 by GxMediaOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo Monday night vowed to reverse the hefty salary increases to ministers if his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) wins the next general elections.
”When we win the elections we may very well do that…If we are opposed to it now, we will reverse it,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.
Maintaing that the 50 percent increase in ministers’ salaries was unconscionable, the former president said none of the PPP parliamentarians would be taking the pay hike.
“We are not taking the salary increase. We are opposed to ot. We don’t want it,” he said.
The PPP said a meeting of its leadership on Monday agreed to table a motion in the National Assembly Thursday in the hope of reversing the fat pay packets.
Although the PPP holds a one-seat minority in the House, Jagdeo hopes that at least one government parliamentarian such as Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo would vote in favour of the reversal of the increased ministerial salaries. “We are hoping that good sense will prevail, that one of them would vote in favour. If Nagamootoo is saying he never traveller first class and he never took a salary increase then maybe he will vote with us to reverse it,” he said.
The PPP announced that it also intends to table a motion for all parliamentarians to make public their income tax returns submitted to the Guyana Revenue Authority for the last 10 years. ” “Furthermore, the meeting decided that it will also table a motion calling on all MPs to make public their tax returns to to the GRA over the last 10 years.”
Government has not given one consistent explanation but a variety of reasons for increasing ministers’ salaries especially after just four months in office.
They include the need to have different pay grades for Vice Presidents, senior and junior ministers; the need for parity between ministerial and judiciary salaries, and the need for greater efficiency by ministers a number of whom have come from the private sector and professions.
Jagdeo said the motion for parliamentarians to publicly declare their income is in light of claims that some of them had been earning more while in opposition. ” Since they are saying they used to make large sums of money when they were in the private sector, we are putting a motion to Parliament on Thursday to ask that we all declare our last 10 years of tax returns so we make it public and then we will know who was making all the big salary and who wasn’t making,” he said.