Cost of living hike is sop to mislead and pacify state employees, says union boss



By Rathindra Kuruwita

The president has attempted to mislead and pacify state employees by offering to increase their cost of living allowance by 10,000 rupees from April 2024, President of the All Ceylon Management Service Officer’s Union Udeni Dissanayake told The Island yesterday.

Presenting the 2024 budget, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said the Cost of Living Allowance for public sector employees will be increased by 10,000 rupees effective from January 2024 but it will only be added to salaries from April 2024.

“We have asked for a 20,000 rupee salary increase as the salaries of the government sector had been last increased in 2016. The 10,000 allowance is an attempt to pacify us,” he said.

Dissanayake said usually salary increments are given in January.

“The VAT will be increased to 18 percent in January. The import costs of petrol, diesel and coal will rise by around 11 percent from 01 January 2014, when the VAT increases to 18 percent. With this the price of all essentials will skyrocket,” he said.

Dissanayake said that the 2024 budget has also not addressed any issues faced by high salaried Sri Lankan professionals either.

“They were promised some tax concessions but that too is not in the budget. The average government worker who is paid a pittance has also not received much. This will just lead to further disillusion and anger,” he said.