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In an apparent complete reversal, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration has said that even at the highest point of oil revenues the government cannot afford cash transfers to all citizens. Guyanese will recall that during the last election campaign the PPP had promised that if elected, there will be direct cash transfers of oil money to Guyanese citizens.
The new position of the PPP regime was revealed by President Irfaan Ali himself on Thursday, January 5.
President Ali said, “I can say like many others, let’s give everybody $1 million each. First of all, it is nonsensical because we can’t afford it even at the highest point of oil revenues.
“As a society, we have to debunk this type of fallacy otherwise, all of us will be part of building a future that is not sustainable.”
The president’s most recent statement of his government’s position is the complete opposite of the platform on which the PPP campaigned. Furthermore, until the President’s Thursday revelation, the PPP regime had maintained that it supports direct cash transfers to families.
Guyanese will recall that on August 17 last year — immediately after the $25,000 handout — senior finance minister Dr. Ashni Singh had spoken about the benefits of direct cash transfers to Guyanese citizens.
Minister Singh said, “[Citizens] buy some goods with it (basic necessities), they go to the shops, they go to the service- providers, and it then multiplies itself over in the economy. The person in the market gets more sales, they then (with such sales) go to the wholesaler and they buy more. The wholesaler then goes to the manufacturer and he or she buys more, and more economic activity is stimulated.”
As matters stand, it appears that the PPP administration has done a complete about turn, and reversed a policy position that it has been touting to the Guyanese public since the 2020 election campaign.