GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – The $25,000 one-off bonus announced for public servants, including teachers, members of the disciplined services, and staff of semi-autonomous agencies will be tax free. General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, clarified this on Thursday while addressing misrepresentation surrounding the government’s announcement of the bonus.
“The grant is a tax-free grant. It is coming, not from funds set aside for wages and salaries for the year, but as I said before, we have $5 billion set aside to assist with cost-of-living increases,” the Dr Jagdeo told reporters, adding that it will bring immense benefits to almost 200,000 Guyanese. “This is not the salary increase for public servants for 2023. The president mentioned that we have to announce the annual increase for public servants and public sector employees generally for the year 2023. So, when that is announced, then the rate will be calculated and they will get their entire retroactive package for the year,” he added.
He said the bonus puts some US $25 million in disposable income into the pockets of public servants.
“We’ve seen the inflation rate abate. The inflation rate so far will be less then three 3 percent for the year, and we decided that the public sector employees will be benefitting mostly from this grant,” Dr Jagdeo continued.
Earlier Thursday, president Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali announced a slew of support measures, which include salary adjustments for graduate teachers, a one-off bonus for persons living with disabilities, $850 million for the purchase of fertiliser for distribution to farmers, and increased earnings for Community Enhancement Workers.