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The Alliance for Change (AFC) has added its voice to the government’s proposed eight per cent (8 %) pay increase across-the-board to public sector workers.
The AFC said the sum is not only another meagre, miserly increase, and maltreatment meted out to public servants but dismissive of the hardworking policemen, nurses, teachers, and other public servants’ cries for a piece of the pie.
The increase also represents the perpetuation of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government’s disdainful treatment inflicted during previous terms in office, stated the party in a release.
“It must be remembered that when strike action two decades ago resulted in the Armstrong Tribunal which then determined a 31% increase the PPP Government scaled that increase downwards and denied the public servants what was rationally theirs.”
The PPP government used the argument it could not afford the payment said the AFC and then doled out pittances every year until the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) coalition administration delivered substantial increases from 2015 to 2020.
There can be no excuse this time around not to pay public servants better on the claim that the coffers are empty, charged the party. “The Coalition Government left the PPP with an oil bonanza that today is effectively $1.5B (US) dollars. Moreover, the effect of present-day inflation on the purchasing power of public servants requires more than the 7% and 8% increases the PPP Government unilaterally has granted.”
Pointing to the inflation rate, estimated to be over 10% in 2022 and worse in 2021, the party noted this has eaten into public servants’ income, hence they are deserving of superior increases not the 7% in 2021 and 8% in 2022 the PPP Government offered.
“There is an additional element about the circumstances of this late disbursement of this increase. The Government has mocked and humiliated the public servants by denying this increase from the beginning of the year.”
To now deliver the money as a lump sum in December when workers have struggled from January to November is uncaring and reprehensible, the party announced.
To this end the Party said it wishes to emphasise the following:
“1. An across-the-board increase widens the gap in income inequality among the various salary scales.
- The increase in salary should be nontaxable. During our tenure in government, no increase in salary was taxed. If the increase is taxed, the actual percentage increase is reduced to 5.12%.
“It is clear the PPP government really and truly does not care about our public servants and in general the workers of our nation. If they did, it would be reflected in their decisions and policies and would have meant a better increase in salaries.”