In her presentation to the 2017 Budget debates, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Vindiya Persaud posited to the house that the taxation measures proposed in the Budget presentation is tantamount to “legal larceny.”
She began her speech by first quoting the words of the 30th President of the United States, John Calvin Coolidge who said “the collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not, beyond a reasonable doubt contribute to public welfare is only a species of legalized larceny.”
Persaud called for Guyanese to stand up to the Government and against the 2017 Budget, as according to her, the measures outlined in the budget will serve to make the poor, poorer and constrict the middle class populace.
“I want to tell people we do not need to take things silently…Say you don’t want this Budget, do not live in fear!” she urged.
Persaud described the budget as a “travesty” and “anti-people” and reiterated the many calls by the Opposition to withdraw the 2017 Budget, noting that “if this government is serious, withdraw this budget…do not give them [Guyanese] this as a Christmas present gone wrong.”
According to the Opposition MP, the administration seems to be living in a different reality than other Guyanese and questioned as to what offence the populace committed to have such dire measures placed upon them all at once.
Persaud asserted that with close to 200 tax measures being implemented in the previous budgets presented by the administration, she saw no need for an additional 57 other taxation measures that were presented during the Budget 2017 by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan.
She stated that it was public knowledge that the taxes will increase the collection of funds, but questioned who would be gaining from it.
Persaud bantered that it could be that the need to acquire more funds is to facilitate the top heavy Cabinet and Government officials who had increased their salaries significantly, just months after taking office.
The House was told that the administration completely disregarded the impact that Value Added Tax on Electricity and Water would have on the citizens.
“The poor will get poorer, the growing middle class will constrict, contract and shrink,” she posited.
MP Persaud reprimanded the Government for “completely destroying the hope and optimism” of Guyanese, noting that they seem oblivious to the fact that many small businesses have begun to close as a result of the previous Budget measures along with the most recent lot.