Opposition Parliamentarian, Anil Nandlall fears the country will soon go bankrupt in light of the spending patterns of the government, with the latest revelation being the super salaries being paid to staff of the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) whereby the cleaners and handymen are raking in $75,000 per month.
“The country is not earning enough to sustain these kinds of expenditure,” Nandlall emphasised at a press conference on Saturday.
SARA has under its employ two cleaners and two handymen, each earning a salary of $75,000; a receptionist, four security guards and six drivers earning $120,000; a director earning $1.38M; a special assistant earning $980,000, and other officers cashing in six figure salaries.
The former Attorney General calculated that SARA will bleed the treasury approximately $1B annually and argued that government is better off removing the education tax.
“We can’t take VAT off (private) education for $350M but we can spend over a $1B on SARA and all they have done is seize some old computers from the Enmore NDC,” Nandlall asserted.
He also decried that a legal representative attached to SARA is earning more than 100 percent more than a lawyer at the Attorney General Chambers.
“The salary of a lawyer at the AG Chambers who has to go to court and defend this government from morning till night, take instructions from an Attorney General who demonstrably is incompetent and they have to work for less than $200,000 a month,” he stated.
People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) parliamentarian, Bishop Juan Edghill also heavily criticised the staff makeup of the entity, dubbing the unit a “super ministry” for political hacks.
“Forty-six staff members! That’s a ministry. We’ve had ministries under our governments that did not have so much staff. Minister Irfaan Ali’s Ministry of Housing didn’t have 46 staff,” he explained.
Bishop Edghill called on all Guyanese to condemn the use of taxpayers’ monies in this manner.
“We need to cry out in a loud voice, ‘shame, shame, shame on the APNU/AFC government of raping the public purse to carry out their political agenda,” Edghill stressed.
Edghill also called out the government for “double dipping” in the contingency fund for monies for SARA, highlighting that monies were already budgeted for that State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) for the entire year yet the coalition requested more than $100M in supplementary funds for the same entity.