#BudgetDebates2018: Golding bats for workers
Opposition Spokesman on Finance Mark Golding has used his first contribution to the Budget Debates to bat for public sector workers, accusing the government of making them poorer.
Speaking in the House of Representatives, Golding said the Finance Minister Audley Shaw has indicated that workers will receive an increase of 16 per cent in wages over four years but noted that this is below the inflation rate projected by the Government.
Golding said this means that the spending power of workers will be greatly diminished.
The Opposition spokesman also accused Shaw of hypocrisy, pointing out that the Finance Minister had described the increase granted by the previous People’s National Party administration as an insult.
Golding also questioning the legal basis on which the government has proposed to pay workers an increase they have rejected.
He says the government should justify paying out public funds without a contract in place.
Teachers have gone on sickout to protest the wage offer and the government’s plan to make the payments under the first year of the deal, although negotiations are not complete.
The Jamaica Police Federation has also decried the payments.