AFC promises 20 percent pay-hike to public servants ; cautions against ethnic voting pattern
By Dennis Chabrol(Demwaves.com) The Alliance For Change (AFC) is promising public servants a 20 percent pay-hike if they win the upcoming general election and cautioning that old voting patterns can result in political instability.
“We have already worked out that within the first ninety days, we will offer a twenty percent increase to public servants and it is not an idle boast,” AFC’s leader and Prime Ministerial candidate, Raphael Trotman told recent meeting in the bauxite mining town of Linden.
The AFC’s presidential candidate, Khemraj Ramjattan told about 130 persons that money to pay government workers including nurses, teachers and the police higher salaries would come from weeding out GUY$30 billion in corruption annually. The establishment of a Procurement Commission, he said, would help reduce corruption through substandard work, poor equipment and overpaid contracts. Another GUY$20 billion, Ramjattan said, would be saved by reducing the 21 ministries and 24 ministers to a “reasonable number.” The ex- president’s GUY$3 million monthly pension and other benefits would be scrapped during the first week of an AFC-led administration. He noted that presidential advisors, Gail Teixeira and Odinga Lumumba are being paid salaries of GUY$880,000 and GUY$669,000 respectively.
“We are going to stop all the miss-spending and give back all the money to the public servants in this country,” he added at a public meeting of about 150 persons in Buxton on Thursday night
Government has already signalled that Guyanese will go to the polls in late November. Trotman restated that the 16 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) will be lowered to 12 percent.
The AFC’s prime ministerial candidate also cautioned that Guyana could enter a period of instability if there is no constitutional reform and an end to racial voting.
“Let us prevent the Guyana Spring, let us avoid an armed revolution in this country and can do so by getting up and standing up and voting for what is right in a few week time and avoid that revolution that is going to come if we continue on this path,” said Trotman at the September 24 meeting in front of the Mackenzie Market. He noted that youths in the Arab world have been throwing off the yokes of oppression and dictatorship.
“We in the Alliance For Change do not want to see a war but at the rate at which this country is being governed, we are going to head into a war and none of us is going to emerge as a winner because, as we fight each other, others are going to pour over the border and are going to occupy the space,” he said, adding that Guyana’s population is too small to defend itself.
The time has come, he said, to end 50 years of political polarization and the creation of new order to give power back to the people through decentralization of authority to regions and villages.
Guyanese have traditionally vote along race lines with the incumbent Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP) drawing the bulk of its support from among East Indians and the main opposition Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) from among African Guyanese. The PNCR is the dominant partner in an opposition coalition- A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).