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…say aim is to restore confidence in the economy
In defense of the $552.9B National Budget proposed by the Irfaan Ali Administration, Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Anand Persaud said the programmes, projects and measures contained therein are intended to restore Guyanese confidence in the economy.
“The budget is also geared at creating wealth by leading to tremendous improvements in the livelihoods and standards of living for all Guyanese.
It aims to restore the confidence in our economy through this government’s massive investment in our infrastructure, health, education, tourism, agriculture, security, housing, and other sectors,” Minister Persaud told the National Assembly as he participated in the Monday’s Debate on the 2022 Budget.
He said contrary to the arguments to put by the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), the Budget is in keeping with President Ali’s vision of creating a people centered and community-oriented agenda.
He said citizens will soon benefit from another series of measures aimed at bringing relief to the cost of living amid the pandemic. Those measures include the raising of the income tax threshold from $65,000 to $75,000 and the ‘Because we Care’ cash grant from $15,000 to $25,000. Additionally, pensioners will see an increase in their old age pension from $25,000 to $28,000 while public assistance has increased from $12,000 to $14,000 each month.
“This is purposeful spending and this move is called prudent financial management. Everyone will benefit from our spending. It is our intention, Mr. Speaker, to build a rich country with rich people. We are striving to live an even better and progressive life under this government,” Minister Persaud told the House.
He further pointed out that $5B will be injected into the Community Infrastructure Improvement Project (CIIP) while another $714M is intended to finance grants to Local Democratic Organs (LDOs) to improve their services to local communities.
Junior Local Government Minister warned underperforming local organs especially the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) that there will be consequences.
“You either shape or face the stringent consequences. Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and municipalities can no longer afford to play with our people’s livelihoods at the community level. NDCs must ensure their environment is kept clean and there is no buildup of solid waste,” he warned.
Some $125.2M and $55M have also been earmarked to construct and rehabilitate the access roads for Blairmont Waste Management Facility Phase One and Rose Hall landfill, respectively. It will also see the upgrade of the existing disposal sites at Corriverton, St. Ignatius and Aishalton, Matthews Ridge, Leguan, Wakenaam, Mabaruma, Kwakwani and Mahdia at the cost of $90 million.
Member of Parliament, Seepaul Narine, who also stood in defense of the Budget, said the measures will advance the lives of Guyanese.
“Budget 2022, I believe, has not missed any area of national life. Every man, woman and child will gain from Budget 2022. This is the nature of the PPP/C, which ensures that development is all-round and no one is left out,” he told the House.
According to him, the wide-ranging budget is another manifestation of the PPP/C Government’s unyielding commitment to unlock the nation’s potential and improve the wellbeing of citizens.
“The hike in the income tax threshold to $75,000 monthly, represents a 15 per cent jump. This improvement, Mr. Speaker, means that no worker at the public sector minimum wage will be required to pay taxes…this initiative alone puts $1.3 billion in the pockets of our workers.
I can say Mr. Speaker, without hesitation, that our people have much to look forward to. Indeed, there are challenges, there will always be Mr. Speaker, buy Budget 2022 tackles these challenges frontally, bringing relief to our people in many forms,” M.P Narine underscored.
He contended that the fiscal package contains measures to mitigate the burdens placed on the Guyanese populace during the former APNU+AFC Government’s era.