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BREAKING: Ali announces two-week tax free bonus for all government health-care workers

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 December 2021, 16:55 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali on Tuesday announced a two-week tax free bonus for health-care workers employed by government.

Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh said the bonus is estimated to cost of $612 million and would benefit 9,200 employees in the sector.

Minister Singh further indicated that instructions have been issued for the bonus to be paid before the end of the current week.

In making the final determination on the payout to the health sector employees, the Finance Ministry said Government has decided to make the payment applicable to all workers in the health sector, having taken into account the challenges involved in identifying which specific posts in the health sector constitute frontline posts and which do not.

Recently, at the time that the Government announced the 2021 across-the-board increase for central government employees, Minister Singh had indicated that an amount of $400 million had been set aside to be paid to frontline workers in the health sector who have continued to face extenuating circumstances in the daily discharge of their duties, as our country and the world continue to battle the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This latest announcement comes less than one week after the Government completed processing and paying the 7 percent across-the-board increase to all central government employees along with their December salaries which placed $10.5 billion in the hands of 50,000 public servants, teachers and members of the Disciplined Services. This bonus now paid to health sector workers represents yet another tangible step taken by the Government to improve the circumstances of public sector employees and of all Guyanese more broadly. 

This announcement comes weeks after government gave a 7 percent wage and salary increase retroactive to January 1. 2021 for all government employees.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Monday also said workers of the cash-strapped state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation would get also get a 7 percent salary hike.

The government has refused to collectively bargain for pay hikes with trade unions representing public servants and teachers.

Details coming up