Your Eyewitness always was told, “payback’s a b*tch”!! Well, the Government’s finding out how true that warning is. It promised “significant” salary increases for Government workers, teachers and all the various other categories that “traditionally” support it. But when salary increase time rolled around, all they got was 5%! Some comforted themselves by suggesting to the “lean and clean” Government, 5% was “significant”. Strict Puritan values and all that!
But when the Government awarded its Ministers a whopping 50% increase – making every one of them an instant millionaire – all its “working poor” supporters sat up and took notice. These fellas DID know what was significant!! Here it was fellas who were hustling to keep their shoe repair business afloat were now raking in over $700,000 every month. And not only that. They got duty-free cars, gas allowance, entertainment allowance, drivers, house allowance, phone allowance…You get the idea? Well, teachers got the idea.
And payback time’s arrived!! The teachers’ union’s decided it’s best to follow the EXAMPLE of the Government on the meaning of “significant” of their new five-year remuneration package. Starting with salaries, they proved they were positively modest – they only asked for 40% for this year and another 45% next year. They won’t get 50% increases until the following year! For three years. Now that’s being responsible, isn’t it? How can the Government say “no” to this?
If a 50% salary increase was good enough for the Ministers who just show up at air-conditioned offices to direct scads of Public Servants to shuffle paper, how do you refuse 40% to those worthies who day in, day out turn out in rain or shine to mould the minds of our children? We wouldn’t want to have our children be affected by dissatisfied, sulky teachers, would we? And while it sounds like plenty…the teachers won’t be matching the Ministers’ present salaries until 2020. That’s when their lives, like their vision, will be perfect.
But the teachers’ union had been paying close attention to the Ministers’ package. They’re asking for $7000 monthly maintenance for those teachers who’ll be getting the 200 duty-free cars they’re asking for annually. But being responsible, they won’t take vehicles more than 2700cc – quite a lot less than the Ministers’ SUVs that’re routinely 4500cc.
The incidentals would be getting double their salaries in December when they’ll be off on holidays. But the epitome of the teachers’ reasonableness on the Government’s idea of “significant” is their refusal to ask for meals on the job.
Not only Ministers –- but all MPs get this – $1.9M for food every sitting on the house!
..hike for hucksters?
The overall sentiment that your Eyewitness was left after perusing the Budget measures that affected the ordinary folks was dismay at the level of pettiness into which the Government had descended. This was epitomised by the massive increases in fees for hucksters – hundreds of percentage increase. Can you imagine a huckster “on foot” having to fork out $3500 annually for the privilege of going door to door to earn a living – rather than turning to a life of petty crime by stealing cell phones? Or the fella with a donkey cart having to exhibit his licence for which he had to fork out $12,500 every year, or he’ll be hauled off to jail by the policeman always on the lookout to” uphold” the law?
And all the Minister of Finance – committed to providing the “good life” to Guyanese who hopefully include hucksters – could say to Opposition objections was, “Do you expect hucksters NOT to pay licences?
Well…HECK NO! If they’re not making some minimum wage, like say, $700,000 annually which a minister makes in one month.
The Tax Reform Committee wants to know why the President, Attorney General and Chancellor –- all making more than $2M EVERY MONTH – shouldn’t be taxed.
This Eyewitness believes hucksters also want to know.