Gov’t spending $15 billion more on wages in education sector – Jagdeo


General Secretary of the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has reiterated that the government is spending more on salaries and wages for teachers, especially with thousands more hired and with higher qualifications.

Last week, Jagdeo addressed the issue but spoke mostly on the non-salary benefits teachers enjoy with increases in the last three years.

At Thursday’s press conference, Jagdeo spoke directly to the increases in salaries in the education sector.

He said in 2019, under the former APNU+AFC government, spending on wages and salaries in the education sector amounted to $24.4 billion.

By the end of 2023, under the PPP/C government, a total of $39.4 billion was being expended on wages and salaries in the education sector, while not taking into account the 6.5 per cent across the board in crease.

And so, Jagdeo, who also serves as the country’s Vice President, pointed out that the government was spending $15 billion more on salaries to teachers, a more than 60 per cent increase.

General Secretary of the PPP/C, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo during a party press conference at Freedom House (Photo: News Room/August 23, 2023)

“The across the board figure is lower than that…we hired [2,000] more [teachers] and adjusted graduate levels significantly.

“These are figures you can verify, that represent a commitment… these are facts that you cannot hide from… teachers are receiving $15 billion more than they got in 2019,” Jagdeo explained.

He insisted that the ongoing strike is political and explained that his call for teachers to get a 50 per cent increase while he was opposition leader, was because the government had raised minister’s salaries by 50 per cent.

“If you could find money for minister, you can find for teachers… that is what I was saying.

“They changed the per diem policy, policy for ministers to get security and drivers… spent more on health insurance for ministers and their families…if you can do all those things for ministers why can’t you find more for teachers?” Jagdeo reminded of the reason for his comment.

But altogether, he maintained that teachers were getting more, pointing out that in this integrate society, investments in other sectors like health and infrastructure were also to the benefit of teachers.

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