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“Oil money is the people’s money and it needs to serve our people,” is the clear message from the parliamentary opposition, A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC).
The culprit to blame for Guyanese hunger and suffering is the People’s Progressiv Party (PPP) Government charged the Opposition, making known the government is making a deliberate choice not to help Guyanese, only their friends, family and favourites. “They are the source of Guyana’s misery.”
The following represents the Opposition’s outline of the Misery Index: –
Economists use the MISERY INDEX as a measure of how well citizens are doing economically. It is calculated by simply adding the unemployment rate and annual inflation rate. When this analysis is done Guyana is in a bad place.
The MISERY INDEX in Guyana soared under the PPP. Food inflation is expected from December 2020 to be close to 25% by year-end and unemployment, especially among youths, is over 30%.
If we were to add the rising poverty rate to the standard Misery Index, then we are faced with a national crisis of misery in Guyana. Poverty is on the increase even though we have increased income from oil.
Evidence of misery abounds. People are struggling to put meals on the table, to travel to work, and to pay rents and bills. Even worse, there is pervasive hopelessness and fatigue among the citizens. There is no belief that tomorrow will be better. There is no expectation that our children would be better-off than we are. There is no hope that our oil wealth will make a difference.
The MISERY INDEX therefore is more than a number. It tells us about the struggles and deprivations of the people in their homes.
This contrasts sharply with the promise of oil revenues, Guyana being only a few short months away from the commissioning of yet another FPSO. This one vessel will by itself produce nearly as much oil as the whole of Trinidad and Tobago did during boom times!
If we are on the brink of yet another deluge of oil, with a projected growth rate of over 20% next year; why are our people suffering? The government can no longer play pauper in the face of such immense wealth. Clearly the government is not a caring government. This is compounded by the high levels of corruption and the government’s unwillingness to address corruption as is evident from their unwillingness to investigate Jagdeo for alleged bribery and corruption.
The PPP continues to try to blame international forces for the cost of living crisis. Inflation is everywhere, to be sure, but few countries have our resources. Money is not the problem. The government’s refusal to respond is the problem.
We must not allow the PPP to peddle the fiction that Guyanese cannot realise their aspirations of living a comfortable and decent life. This country earned roughly $300 million US in excess revenue due to the war in Ukraine, which translates to $300,000 GYD per household. And that was merely the unexpected excess!