In a spirited defense of the government’s effective financial strategies, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo announced yesterday that the public sector has seen an $89.5 billion increase in allocations from 2019 to 2024. Speaking at his press conference, Jagdeo highlighted the massive changes implemented by the administration and refuted criticisms from the opposition regarding the treatment of public sector employees.

Jagdeo emphasized that the increase in the public sector budget is a clear indicator of the government’s commitment to public servants and the overall development of the sector. “We showed how massive the changes were since we came into power. From 2020-2024, it was doubled in nominal terms,” he stated, highlighting the stark difference in budget allocations compared to the previous administration.

“Nearly $40 billion more people got over that period, over the five years that APNU was in office, and they talk about helping the public sector, loving the public sector, and this government hates the public sector.”

The Vice President detailed that the $89.5 billion increase was allocated across central government, public enterprises, and statutory bodies. He noted that this figure includes a $9.45 billion increase specifically earmarked for public sector employees. “The public sector increases in this country have grown by $89.5 billion in the period between 2019 and 2024,” he stated. “That is how much money we budgeted for central government, public enterprises, and the statutory bodies.”

In addition to the direct budgetary increase, Jagdeo pointed out several other financial initiatives that have bolstered disposable income among the populace. He highlighted the government’s hiring of 15,000 individuals for part-time jobs, which he estimated contributed an additional $10 billion to household incomes.

Jagdeo also spotlighted the “Because We Care Cash Grant,” a programme that provides financial support to parents of school-aged children. “If you look at just the children and the cash grant, that’s close to another $10 billion in disposable income available to their parents,” he stated. He added, “If you look at the increase in pensions, that’s close to $20 billion increase.”

These initiatives, he argued, have collectively provided an estimated $40 billion in benefits beyond the substantial increase in public sector wages. “When you combine these efforts, you’re looking at a total of around $130 billion in benefits and income growth across various sectors,” Jagdeo added.

The Vice President was unequivocal in addressing criticisms from the APNU, which has accused the current administration of neglecting the public sector. Jagdeo highlighted the growth in private sector employment, noting that approximately 50,000 people who were previously unemployed now have jobs. “So we have about 50,000 people now in the private sector who didn’t have jobs, now having jobs,” he said. “If you just say one person is earning $75,000 a month, that’s low, but we’re putting it at $75,000 a month. The people who were not working before but are now working would earn $42 billion more per year.”

He stressed that the government’s efforts are not limited to public sector wages but encompass a range of initiatives aimed at increasing disposable income and supporting families across the country.


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