VIDEO: Rajapaksa regime will never increase wages - Ranil

VIDEO: Rajapaksa regime will never increase wages - Ranil

December 23, 2013   05:57 pm

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe today stated that the ruling government under President Mahinda Rajapaksa will only continue to decrease the salaries of workers in the country and that it will never increase them.

Public servants and private sector employees expect to have some money in their hands at the end of the year, due to expenses during the holiday season and for the new school term starting the following year, he said.

He stated that, however, today employees do not have that kind of money and that once the electricity bill is paid people are broke. “They are living with great difficulty,” he said, addressing an event at the UNP headquarters in Colombo.

The people had great expectations that the President, as a former Labour Minister and in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, would provide a salary increase at least this year but that has not been done, he said.

In the 8 years Mahinda Rajapaksa has served as the President of the country salaries have been increased only once by Rs 600, he said. “How can you expect the people to survive?”

He pointed out that the government is providing allowances instead. An allowance of Rs 1,200 was given in January and the electricity tariff was increased in April, he said, adding, that the allowance was therefore pointless.   

Next duties and value added tax (VAT) was increased. “That is like putting an Rs 1,000 note to one pocket and stealing Rs 2,000 from the other pocket. That is what the allowance is,” Wickramasinghe said.

He stated that the people in the Western Province cannot survive with less than Rs 40,000 per month and that most employees receive a pay less than that.

The Leader of the United National Party (UNP) asserted that the “Rajapaksa regime” is looking to continue reducing wages and that it will “never increase salaries.”

He stated that the 4 years since the end of the war against terrorism is even more difficult than during the war.

Wickramasinghe charged that the government has cheated the loans from foreign countries and is asking the public to pay for that “corruption”.   

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