Nov 19, 2015 News
As criticisms continue over salary increases granted to senior Government officials and
Parliamentarians, the administration yesterday insisted that former Presidents Bharrat Jagdeo, Sam Hinds and Donald Ramotar enjoyed tax-free salaries.
The Opposition has been flaying the new administration over the increases, questioning the timing as well.
In defence, Government said yesterday that the idea was to bring the salaries in line with best practices, especially as there were no arrangements in place for the payments of Vice Presidents.
Referring to a letter earlier this week by PPP Member of Parliament, Charles Ramson Jr, the administration said that it has taken note of the “continued distortion and misrepresentation” regarding the recent salary adjustments for Government officials.
Ramson had questioned why President David Granger’s salary was tax free.
The PPP Parliamentarian also asked: “How do you justify the President and the Attorney General’s salaries being tax free?”
According to the Department of Public Information, which falls under the Office of the Prime Minister, the records show that former presidents Jagdeo, Hinds and Ramotar enjoyed monthly tax-free salary packages to the tune of $1,755,935.
The former PPP Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, and his PPP predecessors also enjoyed a tax-free salary, last fixed at $1.6M.
“Mr. Ramson may wish to ask what justifies those tax-free salaries,” the Government statement said yesterday. The statement also denied that all senior government officials have received a 50 per cent increase in salary.
President David Granger received a five per cent salary increase.
“The President’s salary compares with the amount received as pension by former Presidents Jagdeo, Ramotar and Samuel Hinds who get a total of $4,508,391 monthly or $54,100,692 annually. The pension excludes an assorted array of perks.
In the recent salary adjustment, the Prime Minister received an increase of 5.6% over the salary of the Attorney General to correct an anomaly in the pay structure.”
After tax, the statement explained, the Prime Minister gets less pay than the Attorney General.
“For the first time salary was set for three Vice Presidents in the sum of $927,922 each. The Vice Presidents’ salary is almost on par with that of the former Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, who had received in excess of a million dollars per month ($1,035,900).
The salary of 13 senior Ministers was fixed at $869,927 each, which is 50 per cent more than the salary of junior Ministers.”
However, the senior Ministers get far less in salary than former Presidential Advisor, Gail Teixeira, whose salary package was $1,121,106 monthly. That did not include a $1M phone credit she had received.
“The eight junior Ministers received an increase of 20 per cent from $579,951 to $695,541 which is
within the range of the salary of a Permanent Secretary. From the President, down to junior Ministers, no one in the executive came close to the multi-million dollar super salaries under the previous regime which were paid to the former Chief Executive Officers of the Guyana Power and Light and GuySuCo,” the statement said.
“It has also been noted, in passing that as a PPP backbencher, Mr. Ramson, drew down and pocketed a substantial $430,196 every month for moonlighting on a dubious part-time attachment with the then Office of the President, while simultaneously enjoying a full private legal practice. Mr. Ramson may wish to ask himself what justifies that hefty slice from the taxpayers’ purse,” the statement from the department said.
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