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The Opposition, A Partnership of National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), speaking to the recent World Bank Report pointing out that whilst the economy is expanding at an extraordinary rate poverty had increased, said the Report confirms what all Guyanese know.
The Bank’s report noted that the poverty headcount in Guyana shows at least 48 per cent of the population is living on less than $US5.5 (GY$1100) per day and the situation is worse in the interior; food insecurity persisted with about half of households (49 percent) reportedly experiencing lower total household income compared to the period before the pandemic; and the economy is expanding at extraordinary rate.
It is the Bank’s considered opinion “[i]creasing oil and gas revenues will allow financing of significant budget outlays to address development needs and tackle poverty.” It is an expectation shared by many Guyanese who are still to see the direct benefit of an economy that is among the world’s fastest growing, expected oil revenue of US$1.1 billion and projected to record Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 57.8 per cent in 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Using the Bank’s figure to take a swipe at government’s promotion that Guyanese are better off, the opposition said while Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira “is spewing public relations garbage, the World Bank in its Factsheet on Guyana dated October 6th, 2022 says poverty is on the rise in Guyana and that there is need for improvement in the quality of life of the Guyanese people and that it is not just about government spending.”
Whilst agreeing with the Bank’s recommendation, the APNU+AFC bemoaned what the Bank missed is that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is is an incompetent government, focused on spending to facilitate corruption and the enrichment of the party’s elite, friends, family, and favourites.
“The APNU+AFC notes that the PPP is visionless and has now taken to using the ideas from our people-centered development strategy and suggesting that they serve the people of Guyana. The PPP is incompetent and therefore does not have what it takes to serve the people of Guyana. They are so corrupt that the people are not the beneficiaries of their exorbitant spending. In fact, their approach is to enrich a few at the expense of the majority of the Guyanese people.”
Drawing attention to the PPP two-year administration’s refusal to pay workers a decent and livable income and to take measures to address the extremely high cost of living in Guyana, the opposition said these are clear indications the government in the management of the country’s resources is not taking a people-centered approach to development. “They are mere copycats for public relations purposes who are incompetent and have no vision, no plan, and no interest in the poor and vulnerable in Guyana.”