Grenada – Public officers in Grenada are getting a well-deserved financial break. They will receive their January salaries more than a week ahead of schedule and it will include a 4% salary increase and increments.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Ophelia Wells-Cornwall was the bearer of the good news for public officers Tuesday as she made the disclosure during the weekly post-cabinet press briefing.
Wells-Cornwall said, “Government recognises that January is usually considered a long month, as December salaries are usually paid early and persons would normally incur a bit more expenses for the Christmas season. Cognisant of that reality and the fact that government’s current cash flow permits, a decision was taken to pay January salaries on the 21st instead of the 30th.”
The 4% salary increase being paid to public officers is the third and final portion of a 10% increase agreed to with trade unions representing the workers. Based on the agreements, public officers received a 3% increase in 2017 and another 3% in 2018.
Public officers will also receive their annual increments as part of the January salary.
The salary increase and increments for this year will add $10.3 million to the government’s 2019 wage bill. Overall, the salary increases and increments for the contract period 2017 to 2019 will cost the government in excess of $30 million.
Pensioners will also benefit from the 4% increase in salaries and they will receive their payment on 29 January, along with those who qualify for ex-gratia payments.
Ex-gratia payments, as announced by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell in the 2019 Budget, are also being increased to a minimum of $350.
In addition to the salary increase and increment being paid this month, public officers and all other employed persons in Grenada, who are liable to pay income tax at both rates, will benefit from the 2% reduction in Personal Income Tax which takes effect this month.
This reduction of Personal Income Tax and Corporate Tax to 28% were among the measures announced in the 2019 budget.
In making the announcement, Dr Mitchell said, “The 2-percentage point reduction will obviously affect government’s revenue collection, but more importantly, it will help to stimulate the local economy, putting more disposable income in the hands of workers and for companies, affording them extra capital to potentially re-invest and grow their respective businesses.”