For immediate release to all media houses.

Georgetown, Guyana. November 18, 2022

AFC PRESS STATEMENTS FROM NOVEMBER 18, 2022 PRESS CONFERENCE

STATEMENT ON PUBLIC SERVANTS 8% INCREASE – Khemraj Ramjattan M.P.

The AFC views the 8% for 2022 as another meagre, miserly increase, and maltreatment meted out to public servants. It is dismissive of our hardworking policemen, nurses, teachers, and other public servants cries for a piece of the pie; and, it is a perpetuation

of its disdainful treatment inflicted during its previous terms in office.

It must be remembered that when strike action two decade ago resulted in the Armstrong Tribunal which then determined a 31% increase the PPP Government scaled that increase downwards and denied the public servants what was rationally theirs. It then used the argument that it cannot afford it; and then doled out pittances every year until the Coalition Administration of 2015 to 2020 delivered substantial increases.

There can be no excuse this time around that the coffers are empty. The Coalition Government left the PPP with an oil bonanza that today is effectively $1.5B (US) dollars. Moreover, the effect of present-day inflation on the purchasing power of public

servants requires more than the 7% and 8% increases the PPP Government unilaterally has granted. Inflation rate, which is estimated to be over 10% this year and even more last year, have eaten into the income of public servants, and hence superior increases, rather than 7% 2021 and 8% in 2022, is what our public servants deserve.

There is an additional element about the circumstances of this late disbursement of this increase. The Government has mocked and humiliated the public servants by denying this increase from the beginning of the year. To now deliver it as a lump sum in December month when they were struggling from January to November is uncaring and reprehensible.

The Alliance for Change wishes to emphasise the following:

1. An across-the-board increase widens the gap in income inequality among the various salary scales.

2. The increase in salary should be nontaxable. During our tenure in government, no increase in salary was taxed. If the increase is taxed, the actual percentage increase is reduced to 5.12%.

It is clear that the PPP government really and truly does not care about our public servants and in general the workers of our nation. If they did, it would be reflected in their decisions and policies and would have meant a better increase in salaries

Who is LINDSAYCA? – Beverley Alert M.P.

The Alliance For Change is calling for more information to be made public on LINDSAYCA the company Named to construct the gad to energy plant at Wales on the West Bank of Demerara. Our research shows that this is a family company owned by Hector and Jesus Fuertes. In the past 17 years Hector established five different companies but only two seem active. Also, we are not satisfied that this company has experience on projects of this magnitude, remember this project is pegged at close to USD1 billion. This is a huge amount of money that belongs to the people of Guyana. They have a right to know who is getting this money. From what we found out LINDSAYCA has an annual revenue of just about USD10 million.

Note, let us state categorically, the Alliance For Change is fully supportive of a feasible project to provide cheaper energy. Let us be clear on that; the AFC supports gas to energy.

Our concern is that once a contract is signed for this project that the contractor has the wherewithal to execute this project the last thing we would like to hear is that the company is going under and unable to complete the project. It LINDSAYCA will be subcontracting the people of Guyana have a right to know who the sub-contractors are. The AFC is not, making any accusations against the company. What we are saying is that not enough is known about this company and we believe the people of Guyana have a right to know more about this company before any contract is signed.

Statement on the behaviour of high ranking Judicial Officer – Norris King NEC, AFC The AFC note with much concern, the alleged repulsive conduct of a high ranking public official of the Judiciary. As a party the AFC will continue to stand against the abuse & disrespect of women and children.

What is even more troubling to us in the AFC and by extention Guyana is the fact that the alleged perpetrator ( Judicial Servant) felt comfortable summoning a ‘senior’ police officer to a school in order to enflame a situation that to us, was dealt with effectively by

the administration of the school. The AFC believes, this situation, if not dealt with properly by the relevant authorities, May further contribute to the errosion of the moral fabric of our society in Guyana, where we profess to be 1 people, in 1 nation, with 1 destiny.

Is that destiny one of doom for our nation? We hope not.

The AFC will continue to follow the developments as they unfold.

We in the AFC will continue to call on The Minister of Human Services & the minister of

Legal Affairs, along with other civic organizations to condemn this act to the highest extent. As a people, if we fail to protect our women & children, we are doomed forever.

The AFC also call on All right thinking Guyanese to add their voices in supporting the respect of our Teachers, Women & Children.

Update on the operations of Parliamentary committees – Cathy Hughes M.P.

The Alliance For Change refers to an article published in the Guyana Chronicle of November 12, 2022 captioned “Dormant parliamentary committees chaired by APNU+AFC parliamentarians” and notes with alarm the gross inaccuracies peddled by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in response to our statement of November 4th.

It is clear that Minister Teixeira is either totally out to sea with regards to an important part of her ministerial portfolio, is unfamiliar with the truth or deliberately set out to deceive this nation with regards to the current dormant parliamentary committees.

In the article she is quoted as stating that sectorial committees headed by the Opposition are not meeting but those headed by the Government are. In fact nothing could be further from the truth.

A simple check with the Parliament Office will confirm the following facts:

The Parliamentary Oversight Committee on the Security Sector chaired by Mark Phillips has never meet. The Standing Orders Committee, the Assembly committee, the Statutory Instrument Committee all chaired by the Speaker have all never met.

The Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on economic services handed over to Bishop Edghill as part of the rotation of chair principle which governs parliamentary committees, met once on 26 March 2022 to set an agenda and has not met since then.

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs seems not to know still, that the Natural Resource Committee now under the Chair by Vikram Bharrat has still never met. I once again state Again I restate at the most critical time in our nations’ history the National resources Committee has not met.

Minister Teixeira mentioned the Foreign Relations committee and claims to have received the inaccurate information the Parliamentary website, which if true, clearly is not up-to-date. Let the record show that as the Minister is aware the chairmanship of

these committees rotate and since August 2021 the chair of the Foreign Relations committee reverted to Hugh Todd who for an entire year has not reconvened a meeting.

Under the Chair of Raphael Trotman it is good to recall the excellent work of this committee and their programme of informing the Guyanese public of the history and genesis of our border dispute with Venezuela, which included an information session streamed live in which members of the media and the public all participated. Handbills were produced by the committee for distribution in schools and literature shared.

Of course as we all know former member of parliament Raphael Trotman resigned from parliament in August of this year.

It is clear that Minister Teixiera seems more concerned with peddle misinformation and we urge her to avail herself of the truth and facts and use her vast parliamentary experience and ministerial portfolio to get these committee up and running, with assistance from the Speaker, especially as she is one of the longest serving parliamentarian in the National Assembly.

STATEMENT ON 8% INCREASE – Youth For Change (now attached was not read in conference)

In light of the announcement by President Irfaan Ali of an across-the-board 8% increase in the salaries of public servants and other specific categories of workers, the Alliance for Change has taken a position which includes the following:

1. An across-the-board increase widens the gap in income inequality among the various salary scales.

2. The increase in salary should be nontaxable. During our tenure in government, no increase in salary was taxed. If the increase is taxed, the actual percentage increase is reduced to 5.12%.

3. Guyana is now an oil producing nation which has had its biggest budget ever this year and is now the fastest growing economy in the world (25.8%). It is simply unacceptable for the workers of the public service, who are the backbone of our government to receive such a meagre increase in salary in comparison to the massive increase in our gross domestic product. In addition, we must not forget that during our time in government, salary increases were 9% and greater, nontaxable and given without the advent of oil revenues.

4. This year, we have seen a 9% inflation rate in our economy. This inflation is not solely due to the global economic crisis at hand and can be well catered for by the vast economic growth facilitated by oil revenues. A meagre increase of 8% in salary which is

taxable is simply insufficient to cater for the inflation. As a matter of fact, this increase is completely cancelled by the inflation.

It is clear that the PPP government really and truly does not care about our public servants and in general the workers of our nation. If they did, it would be reflected in their decisions and policies and would have meant a better increase in salaries. Clearly, this government is the government of inequality and economic oppression.

END