Public Servants will get wage increase at the appropriate time – Edghill
While informing Members of Parliament Friday night that he has been designated to oversee the finance sector by President Irfaan Ali, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill has sought to assure disappointed public servants that they will be considered for salary increases in subsequent budgets.
The People’s Progressive Party Government earlier this month brought its first budget to the National Assembly after winning the March 02, 2020 elections but that $330 billion fiscal plan was void of any retroactive salary increases for public servants.
Those persons who have grown accustomed to receiving increases on almost an annual basis were left disappointed, equally inviting criticism from the Opposition Coalition.
Public servants were promised a 50% increase by the PPP in its manifesto and repeatedly along the campaign trail in the run up to the elections.
When Opposition Parliamentarians raised the issue during the consideration of estimates for the Ministry of Finance on Friday night in the Committee of Supply, a visibly agitated Edghill said he wanted to put the issue to rest.
In so doing, Edghill said, “at this time I have no announcement for the public servants.”
He went on to explain that as the implementation of the 2020 budget goes on over the next three months, and at the appropriate time, the Government will make a determination on salary increases and the nation will be advised.
“That is why we did not have to wait for Christmas to deal with bringing relief to public servants,” he added.
The Minister said too that every year, once the fiscal space exists, consideration will be given to addressing salary increases for public servants.
“Even in midst of underperformance in the economy, mismanagement, maladministration and spending without due recourse by the former APNU+AFC Government, the PPP will at the appropriate time consider what is workable,” he added.
Edghill said even in the COVID -19 pandemic the PPP has endeavoured to do what is good for public servants as he talked up the announced $25,000 cash grant for each household.
“In this COVID-19 environment and in this economy we have right now, we will do all the reviews and an announcement will be made… so if you [the Opposition] are looking to tell the public servants that there is nothing in the budget for them, then you will fall,” he added.
The Minister said monies are also included in the budget to ensure that members of the joint services and the country’s health care workers’ welfare are addressed.