The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) plans to refund the salary increases that have been approved for the Opposition Leader and parliamentarians in keeping with its position that the pay-hikes are astronomical.
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo made the announcement at a news conference held at his party’s headquarters, Freedom House, saying the ministerial and parliamentary pay hikes could not be justified.
“The PPP members of parliament have received the increase and so we are discussing one of two options on how to proceed on this matter-either to return the money to the Treasury with a cheque or to hand it over every month to a charity but definitely the members on our side will not take the increase,” he said.
The former Guyanese leader and one-time Finance Minister said it was illogical for the government to claim that the economy was bankrupt while at the same time paying higher ministerial salaries.
Jagdeo accused government of failing to fulfill its promises of increased salaries and doubling of Old Age Pensions. He said the cost of paying 26 ministers more would be higher than providing water subsidy for 44,000 pensionsers.
Government has argued that it needed to increase the salaries to avoid a loss of income, similar to what they had earned as professionals in the private sector. Another key explanation has been the need to address anonomalies in the salaries of the various categories of ministers on the one hand and members of the judiciary on the other hand.