2016 Budget “pure rhetoric”…no stimulus to create jobs at the local level – Gaskin

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Economist Ramon Gaskin is of the view that the 2016 Budget which is themed “stimulating growth, restoring confidence, a good life beckons” ironically lacked the requisite measures to achieve such. In his assessment, he said the Budget is nothing more than “pure rhetoric”.

Ramon Gaskin
Ramon Gaskin

Finance Minister Winston Jordan stood for three long hours yesterday as he read aloud the contents of the financial plan before a room full of parliamentarians and media operatives.

“My general assessment is that in terms of job creation and stimulating the economy to produce jobs at the local level, the budget failed miserably. There is no stimulus for the villages to create jobs and be productive,” he remarked.

In essence, Gaskin concluded that the budget is nothing but pure rhetoric and included nothing substantial to address the issues that were highlighted. “He highlighted the problems in the economy but he didn’t say how they plan to improve that… all of that is pure nonsense and has nothing to do with economic development and his optimistic forecast of growth, there is no justification,” he stated.

With respect to the money allocated for the sugar industry, Gaskin noted that the funds could have been better utilised. “The money for [Guyana Sugar Corporation] GuySuCo is money being wasted, money going down the drain, money that should be used to create jobs for the workers that are going to be displaced rather than giving money to GuySuCo,” he said, suggesting that the money be used to retrain the Wales sugar workers who will soon lose their jobs or to provide entrepreneurial grants to help in the startup of another business following the impending closure of the estate.

Commenting on the absence of tax reforms, Gaskin opined that it was a big disappointment.
Additionally, he lamented the fact that there were no salary increases for workers. He posited that Government’s excuse for not including wages increases is unacceptable.
“Government should have started consultations with the unions since September last year,” he stated.

President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Komal Chand shared similar views. Expanding on his overall assessment, Chand welcomed the $9 billion for the sugar industry but reminded that it is a significant reduction from what the Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo had promised which was $12 billion.

He also chided the government for not even uttering a single word about their plan for the workers at the Wales Estate.

Additionally, President of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) Norris Witter conceded that the public will be tremendously disappointed about the absence of salary increases but he accepted that government must indeed consult widely with the unions before making a pronouncement.

Generally, Witter said he is satisfied with the overall budget, noting that it comes at a time when the economic conditions are hostile.
Ramesh Dookhoo, representative of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) for his part lauded the announcement of huge infrastructural projects and the tax break on alcoholic beverage.
He also expressed satisfaction with the $1200 increase in pension for the elderly population.

 

11 COMMENTS

  1. 2016 Budget “pure rhetoric”…no stimulus to create jobs at the local level – Gaskin
    This PNC Budget will get to people sooner rather than later when they find out they have to get tax clearance before exiting Guyana—-AGAIN JUST LIKE THE BUN-HAN GOOD OLE DAYS..
    Like in the 70s when I just left school and wanted to go visit friends in Canada and US, I had to get tax clearance.

    First I went to the tax office only to be told that I owed $18,000 in back taxes. I told the big PNC man I just finished school and never worked so how could I owe taxes..
    That like it pissed off the big PNC man who then pulled out a very big ledger and open it – he looked at something in there then said to me– you owed 36000 in back taxes so no tax clearance for you until you pay up.
    I have no reason to lie about this–I went home and told my family about this.
    My mother –bless her soul – said don’t worry you will get your tax clearance.
    She knew someone that worked there and told that person.
    The person told my mom to let me go to the tax office at 10 am next morning — with a bottle of rum – in a brown paper bag.
    Next morning I showed up and the said big PNC man asked me if I brought –THE THING- Honest to the good Lord–I laid a nasty cussing on this big PNC man..I told him he will rot from his guts inside before he die a nasty death and I walked out.
    Two days later my tax clearance was delivered to me and to this day I don’t know how it happened. I would never pay a bribe to get what I want because I would be breaking the law.
    Maybe this illegal PNC regime will soon tell Guyanese they can’t leave Guyana with more that Gy$15. AGAIN— DONT PUT IT PAST PNC

  2. I am sure if DK was interested in finding out how many Guyanese were employed during the construction of the Marriot Hotel, he/she could have done a simple survey. All sourced local materials; sand, stone in its various forms and other essential building materials had to be transported to site. All the blocks used were manufactured locally. Think DK, how many were employed. So just don’t digest the mis-leading propaganda spewed daily by the local newspapers especially the Muckraker, publishing its daily slime. demerarawaves was not to be outdone .

  3. The budget is a stimulus for the rich. Can a poor man afford a new car? Can a poor man afford a new tire? Can a poor man afford fancy liquor? If the answer is ‘yes’, Guyanese are living in a hallucinatory Utopia. If the answer is ‘no’, the jobless (including the Wales workers), suicides and crime will proliferate exponentially. “A hungry man is an angry man” – English proverb. “Poverty is the worst form of violence” – Mahatma Gandhi.

  4. I do not agree that the budget is “pure rhetoric”.There are many positive decisions in it to restore fiscal balance to our economy ,and to restore, trade union relevance, anf bargaining rights . However I agree completely, that there is no stimulus at all to achieve growth, investment, or any new jobs.This is a huge dissapointment. They better correct this by end June, the latest.

  5. DM ow man you must not believe all the crap KN and SN feeds you for you will appear dumber than dumbo dummy..
    All materials transported were done by Guyanese..None was from Africa is you are this mad about it I can understand why.
    Shame on the PPP government for not importing Africans from Africa to work on the Marriott.

  6. The effects of the budget are yet to be seen! You mean, there will be no trickle down benefits at all, with all this spending? Let us wait!

  7. Gaskin is saying that the Budget Speech didn`t mention anything about job creation,how many jobs were created for Guyanese when the Marriott Hotel was built by the former government?NONE,everything was under secrecy,I wonder if he could have done a better job?

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