It has now become clearer to Guyanese that the Office of the President and the office of General Secretary of the ruling People’s Progressive Party are one and the same, based on the salaries paid to some party functionaries who have been shifted over to the presidential secretariat.
The same Presidential Office that complained about Super Salaries upon the change of Government nearly two decades ago has some whooping salaries for the politicos at the Office of the President. And that is not all, the same PPP that complained about the merger of Political Party designations with State or National offices may have done so in form and substance although not in name!
Presidential advisors are earning nearly $5 thousand US dollars per month at the Office of the President that is nearly One Million Guyana dollars per month and it appears all of that tax-payers money being paid to All the President’s Men and Women is tax-free.
Then there are the clear political appointees like the Communications Coordinator, Kwame McKoy who earns over 1500 US dollars per month or just over 350 thousand. But the financial payouts are even more interesting, there is a position under Kwame’s that is called the Press Undersecretary OPL (Office of the Press Liaison). The person in that position under Kwame is receiving just about the same salary as the Man above him but the man below gets duty and entertainment allowances that Kwame at the top does not get.
The man below Kwame is the PPP’s Campaign Communications Coordinator Romel Roopnarine who appears to have back pay that has accumulated to over two point two million dollars all tax free. It is unclear from what date the former Guysuco Communications Officer took up office at the OP.
A former PPP secretary at Freedom House was shuttled over to the Office of the President and General Secretary of the PPP where that person now earns over three hundred thousand per month. And that individual is owed back pay too to the value of over one million dollars. Two PPP operatives, Philomena Sahoye Shury and Desmond Kissoon have substantial pay packets that are over two million and one million dollars.
Two close associates of the PPP and whose parents and grandparents were in the Party are each earning over half a million dollars. The Head of the Presidential secretariat is nearly at 900 thousand dollars per month while former Minister Gail Teixiera comes in just shy of one million.
The old stalwarts at the Office of the President including Vic Persaud are under the 300,000 dollar mark with only Vic at the higher end. All of the Presidential Confidential Secretaries are half of what Vic Persaud earns below 150,000. In fact the Official photographer at the office of the President who has been there for nearly two decades is earning just around 120,000 dollars.
The figures were revealed following the request by the Opposition MP Joe Harmon for details on cuts following the budgets cuts.