By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The APNU+AFC government has halted the 10,000 per child “Because we care” school grant which was an initiative under the previous PPP/C administration.
This was confirmed by Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman, who told a post cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, July 15 that the initiative was badly implemented and that it is “fiscally unsustainable.”
He said that the project is currently under review and that government wants to ensure that the poor and vulnerable should be the main beneficiaries.
“Cabinet has been advised that it is fiscally unsustainable because when one studies development economics, when you give a grant or a cash transfer, it has to be targeted; it must be accompanied or guided by a means test, so that you ensure the most vulnerable in society are the sole or if not the primary beneficiaries, that is the poorest of the poor,” Minister Trotman said.
He further explained that while the cash grant was a good idea, “it was badly implemented.”
“So to have a grant of $10,000 for every school child without it being focused to those who need it more is not…fiscally sustainable for any economy, particularly ours.”
He however noted that government will continue the school uniform vouchers and seek to enhance it. The ‘Because we care’ initiative was launched in October of 2014 and was slated to benefit 188,406 families of the students of nursery, primary, and secondary schools in the public school system.
It would have resulted in a total of $2B being invested by the then PPP government.