Minister Hamilton defends eight per cent retroactive salary increase
– says APNU+AFC focused on themselves, not the Guyanese
Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton reminded public servants on Tuesday, that the opposition APNU+AFC, while in office, once referred to workers as “selfish and uncaring.”
The minister was responding to a statement issued by APNU+AFC’s Coretta McDonald, who attempted to criticise the well-intentioned eight per cent salary increase across the board, retroactive to January 2022 for all public sector employees.
“Instead of focusing on the overall well-being of the public sector workers… Coretta McDonald’s party rewarded themselves with a 50 per cent salary increase, three months after taking office. They spent billions of dollars on food, fancy vehicles, and upgrading offices for themselves.
“The inescapable truth is that McDonald knows all too well the unjust and harsh treatment teachers [who are public servants], endured at the hands of David Granger and the APNU+AFC regime,” the minister said.
He further pointed out that McDonald, the opposition operative, had advanced her position in 2020 to become the prime ministerial candidate for the PPP/C government because of its attractive and wholesome policies towards Guyanese workers, versus the harsh policies of the opposition.
“McDonald’s willingness to sacrifice truth at the altar of political expediency to fulfill the APNU+AFC’s misleading narrative is extremely disheartening,” the minister said.
Minister Hamilton chastised the opposition and its cabal for operating in an alternate universe, reminding that during its 2015-2020 tenure, they were insensitive to the anguish, pain, and suffering they inflicted on Guyanese workers – through their inhumane policies.
Moreover, he said the opposition operative deliberately falsified the inflation rate in her missive, when in fact, the Dr Irfaan Ali-led government has implemented several measures to improve workers’ disposable income.
“Since returning to the office the PPP/C government is implementing holistic economic policies to lower prices for goods and services, which have increased globally”. We have also reversed punitive taxes imposed by the APNU+AFC.”
The salary increase announced by President Ali is part of the government’s wider efforts and includes adjusted salary scales for various categories of workers, which the president will further announce next week.
The government has also reversed punitive taxes on electricity, water, medical services, educational supplies, basic household necessities, and construction materials and the salary increase must be viewed in unison with these measures.
“The APNU+AFC plunged the economy into free fall. They governed in a way that brought hopelessness and despair to Guyanese workers. The unabated theft of state resources and trauma of the five-month period… spent on trying to rig the 2020 elections was not just a slap in the face, but a stab in the back of Guyanese” minister Hamilton added.