Gov't not prioritizing wage offer, says Golding

Public sector workers can receive a better wage offer than the 16 per cent increase over four years that is currently on the table, according to Opposition Spokesman for Finance Mark Golding, who was addressing a post-Budget Debate press conference yesterday.

"I think that it's a question of prioritising. The Government has chosen this year to go very heavily towards certain types of capital expenditure, and that is largely road projects and the NIDS (National Identification System)," said Golding.

He continued: "Billions of dollars are being spent on that, and, also, they're spending over six billion of additional dollars on helicopters and vehicles for the military. These are all choices as to how you allocate the limited resources that we have."

Golding said that he could not break down how the People's National Party would have redistributed the resources, stating that it would call for deeper analysis and technical advice.

Groups such as the Nurses' Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Teachers' Association have rejected the wage offer, but Finance Minister Audley Shaw said that public sector workers would be paid the first year of the 2017-2019 wage offer at the end of this month as the sums cannot be carried into the new financial year.


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