Citizens of Guyana have numerous reasons to distrust Finance Minister Ashni Singh. Not only is he triple dipping by running the Finance Ministry, Chairing the NICIL organization and interfering with the audit function through his wife’s membership as the most qualified person on the Audit Committee but yesterday he “took the cake” for devious responses to a crisis by marshaling an emergency minimum wage increase for 16 categories of low wage earners in Guyana, in an apparent response to the parliamentary majority’s demand for an across the board increase in wages for Public Service workers. While OVNN supports the wage increase, we by no means see it as a substitute for the Public Sector wage increase demanded by the parliamentary majority.
Finance Minister Singh has often stated in parliament that the reason he could not agree to the parliamentary majority’s demand for the wage increase for Public Service employees is that it would cause inflation in the Guyanese economy [inflation is the overall general upward price movement of goods and services in an economy, often caused by a increase in the supply of money].
We at OVNN make no claim to being experts in Economics but basic logic points us to the fact that the vast majority of the job categories affected by the PPPC’s recent wage increase are from businesses in the Private Sector. Following this logical path, it is obvious to us that as private sector business owners pay higher wages to workers, they will then pass those increased costs on to their customers in the form of higher prices for goods and services; after all, no one is in business to lose money. It is also important to note that increased wages will lead to an increase in gross payroll taxes paid, which will mean an incremental revenue increase for the government’s coffers.
So not only did the Finance Minister, and Roger Luncheon suddenly agree to a wage increase which will lead to increased revenue for the government, but they apparently had no trouble contributing to the dreaded inflation they used as an excuse to deprive hard working Public Service employees from the wage increase they deserve. Singh and Luncheon are disingenuous in their refusal to increase salaries for public sector workers, many of whom earn paychecks which are insufficient to cover their basic food, housing, utility and transportation expenses each month.
OVNN urges all citizens to note the hypocrisy in the decision to increase wages in the private sector while stubbornly refusing to increase wages for Public Sector employees. Citizens of Guyana are urged to join the parliamentary majority in demanding an increase for Public Sector employees, they deserve it. Ashni Singh and Roger Luncheon should not be allowed to collect hard earned taxpayer dollars, and then deprive them of the dignity of a decent salary and basic government services like clean water, reliable electricity, good roads, flood protection, crime control and good schools and Healthcare.
Citizens of Guyana must unite, change is here. Help the parliamentary majority get you the change for which you voted. Tell the PPPC to stop their corrupt activities and focus on the will of the people. Citizens of Guyana deserve no less.