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In an interview with Dr. David Hinds on his programme “Politics 101” former Minister of Finance Winston Jordan was invited to evaluate the People’s Progressive Party/Civic first year in government. Jordan shared his view about the management of the economy, including the focus of the government more on brick-and-mortar projects than human resources. He is of the opinion this is not the best approach to managing an economy during a pandemic because foremost must be the welfare of the people, then infrastructure.
Dr. Ashni Singh, minister responsible for finance, was chided for expending energies on National Insurance Scheme (NIS) outreaches across the country, rather than focusing on policy matters. According to Jordan the NIS outreaches are administrative in nature and should be left to the management of NIS. He said given policymaking is in keeping with ministerial responsibility Singh’s time would be better utilised attending to issues of such nature.
The former finance minister criticized the government segmented cash grants payment. He argued that were he Minister of Finance now he would have been looking at cash transfer for all adults. This would be paid monthly, and subject to review after six months. It is his opinion this would have been a better approach to create spending in the economy and addressing the needs of the ordinary man.
Reservations were expressed by Jordan about incentivizing businesses and leaving out the ordinary man. It is not the best approach for stimulating the economy because businesses cannot be relied on to spend their money back in the economy. He referred to this approach of hoping to stimulate growth as “trickle-down economics.”
Jordan rubbished the government’s criticisms that the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change coalition was not good stewards of the economy. He laid out a series of policies and programmes he had put in place to remove the economy from being heavily reliant on drugs money, and touted years of positive economic growth under his management.
Jordan’s interview presented the other side of the story. It was an eye opener in knowledge of the coalition’s management of the economy, their 10-year vision for Guyana and insight into what he would have done were he responsible for managing the economy now. Take a listen.