Nov 23, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Guyana is now a confirmed 25-dollar society. That is, US$25 per month more for minimum wage workers. This is what public servants, who were anticipating something respectable, because they did not get much last year, will have to make do with, specifically, those at the low $70,000 level.
For, no matter which way it is looked at, G$4,900 is just about US$25 more a month, which works out to less than one United States dollar a day for ordinary public servants.
This is when Hess and Exxon are proud to boast that they have the best deal in the world with Guyana’s oil.
The American (and Chinese) oil companies get cheap oil, and Guyanese public servants get another cheap shot from the PPP Government. The foreigners are laughing all over the media, and all the way to the bank, while Guyanese are reduced to the futility and humiliation of venting their rage and disgust on social media.
The President himself, the kind and compassionate doctor that he is, said that the cost of living is high and Guyanese should brace themselves for a continuing increase of it.
On the one hand, he recognises that the cost of living is high, and says so publicly. Yet, on the other hand, it is in this lowball number that he delivers to the smaller people in this country’s public service.
This involves a good number of Guyanese, ranging from those who can be called traditional public servants to police officers to those in the army to teachers to government pensioners. Most of those subsets that qualify for this measly seven percent increase, is populated by several thousand active or retired workers of this country.
We will say it bluntly to the President: this seven percent increase is low, and he looks lower for coming up with it. Especially, when in these heady days of oil, on each occasion that he opens his mouth and talks about money, it is in the billions upon billions. Money that is mostly being borrowed, and for expensive projects that Guyanese don’t even know if they will be worth the crippling costs, or if they offer the benefits that the President and his Vice President claim that they represent.
We must say, though, that the PPP Government knows how to take care of itself and its own. It baffles us, as to why “constitutional office holders” should be a part of this seven percent mix. To be clear about this, we question why ministers of the government are part of the pay increase announced.
These people have no shame, for here they are lining up with hands outstretched to collect around $60,000 each, which is almost the whole monthly salary of an entry level public servant. Like we said, these people do not have any sense of shame, so hardened they are in their self-serving ways.
For his part, the money man in the Office of President, Dr. Ashni Singh, was quick to point to one-off cash grants for pensioners, and other payouts made by his government starting in late 2020.
We have to give it to these PPP guys; they have a dollar number and a statistics for every situation, to justify why they are or not doing something. It is always of how sweetly the PPP has done for the Guyanese people, whether public servants or pensioners. It does not mean a thing, when the Guyanese mother can’t buy the basics, and when Guyanese families have to look at their table, and settle for starvation.
In the meantime, in another section of the media, we were proudly informed by a foreigner that “Guyana is now one of the fastest growing countries on the planet.”
It has a nice ring to it, but it might be better not to tell that to any Guyanese woman or man in the street. Somebody is likely to end up getting stoned for all their nice talk.
The bottom line is that Guyanese are feeling the pinch, and it has been biting deeply for a long while now. All that the seven percent does is insult hopeful Guyanese, and leave them worrying how to get by in this fast-growing country.
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