Ok it’s the day after the Budget and this pension increase is not looking hot at all. Here’s why. Let’s say you’re an OAP living in Georgetown and you are all hooked up with the GPL subsidy ($30K per year) and the water subsidy ($11,880).
If so, you’re taking home effectively $13,125 plus $2500 plus $990. That’s $15,625 a month. Now Jordan wants to give you, with one hand, $17,000 but with the other hand is taking the subsidies away so basically you’re only getting a $1400 raise. Grandma Money Bags is not so popular in the house any more.
Now we understand where Jordan is coming from. Some old folks don’t benefit from the electricity (70%) or water (40% )because they live in the hinterland or some other reason. As he spins it, the subsidies are discriminatory. But the solution is not to take away them away. It smacks of nickel and diming the old and poor.
And then when it comes to NIS he announces that PAYE will now be applied after the NIS contribution has been deducted. That’s an extra $924 or 1.68% on a salary of $50,000. Great news until you learn that the government is now removing the 1% subsidy it had been paying on behalf of NIS contributors. So you get a little break but not as much as the headline suggests. Even the wage increases, as Jagdeo pointed out (Can’t believe we just wrote that) are effective from July 1 so basically you need to halve the headline amounts.
How much savings is the government really getting from these sleights of hand and how is it that the wealthy fisheries sector gets a tax break on its boats and equipment? Don’t recall the Noble Houses and the Pritipaul Singhs crying out for relief lately. But along with the gold miners, that’s going to be a lot of lost tax revenue and it smacks of corporate welfare at the expense of the indigent including, and again we note, the disabled who are to be lavished with a $600 increase to the luxurious stipend of $6500 a month.