Public servants hoping for a bonus this Christmas will be left disappointed, as Finance Minister Winston Jordan on Friday ruled out any bonus pay-out to State workers due to limited fiscal space.In his revelation to the media, Jordan explained that countrywide infrastructure projects are ongoing. As such, he argued that because of these projects, money isFinance Minister Winston Jordanbeing circulated back into the economy.“I can tell you that it will not happen this year,” the Minister said when asked about bonus for public servants. “The challenges are many and the resources are few.”In the absence of a bonus, Jordan explained that public servants still had much to be proud of as he pointed to the ongoing projects such as on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project.“The West Demerara road is close to completion. So there has been a hive of activity across the country. A lot of spending is taking place, so if only because of that, people should be happy because a lot of money is being injected into the economy,” Jordan said.Last year, public servants had waited with bated breath to hear if Government would announce a month tax-free bonus but were instead treated to a reduced amount.He later told reporters last year that Government simply did not have the monies available to make the one-month tax-free payment to members of the public service.Speaking to public administration and public financial management during his presentation of the 2017 National Estimates (Budget), Finance Minister Jordan had said “this Administration has inherited a national crisis of institutional lethargy and ineptitude (in the public service).”The Minister in providing some insight on Government’s proposal to reform the public service through its public servants, pointed to comprehensive institutionalisation of the tenets of results-based management. He pointed too to the recently opened public service college and its role in revitalising workers.
1 Charlie Austin and David Sullivan Charlie Austin has hit back at an ‘outrageous slur’ from West Ham owner David Sullivan after he said signing the player would be a big risk for the club.The 26-year-old QPR striker has been linked with a host of Barclays Premier League clubs over the summer after scoring 18 goals as the Hoops dropped out of the top flight last season.West Ham are one of several sides who have reportedly looked to make a move for Austin, who was called up by England manager Roy Hodgson for the final two internationals of the season, but QPR have not budged from their £15million valuation.But, when asked on the Knees Up Mother Brown podcast if Austin was a target, Sullivan was bullish about the former Burnley striker’s injury record.“They say he has no ligaments in his knee, who knows?” Sullivan said.“To sign a £15m player is a big risk. He could go on for years, but knowing our luck his knee will go in his first game and that’s the end of it.“If we had £100m to spend we may say ‘we’ll spend £15m and gamble one-sixth of our budget’. But it’s not one-sixth of our budget, it’d smash our budget to bits.“And he didn’t keep Queens Park Rangers up. If he’d kept them up single-handedly you might say it was different – and a few of those goals were penalties.”Austin released a personal statement on Twitter in reply to the Sullivan comments, defending his fitness and his professionalism.“I feel I have no option but to address the inaccurate, misleading and uninformed innuendo about my physical condition that has been raised today by an individual who is not privy to my personal health history,” his statement read.“It is one of a number of inaccurate reports about my so-called injury problems which have been made over the summer.“For the record, there is nothing wrong with my ‘ligaments’, as has been suggested. My strength and performance in pre-season has been excellent and with two goals in my last two games I don’t think there is any doubt that my match sharpness is as good as ever.“I scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season, which would not be possible were I feeling discomfort or pain.“Like many professional footballers, I have the legacy of injuries picked up over my career but the effect on my day-to-day training and on matchday is non-existent.“For a senior figure at a Premier League club to insinuate that I could break down at any moment is an outrageous slur on my professionalism and the work that has gone into making me the footballer than I am today. I am fit, strong and looking forward to Saturday’s home game against Rotherham.”The Hammers are keen to add a forward to their squad with Andy Carroll, Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate all nursing injuries – with boss Slaven Bilic admitting it is a striker he is most likely to bring in before the close of the window.It is understood West Ham had a list of up to 12 forwards who they were looking to bring in, but it appears Austin is not one of them as QPR look to hang on to their main asset in their battle to secure an immediate return to the Premier League.