Bill passed to reverse APNU/AFC’s ‘draconian’ increase in hucksters’ license fees

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Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Anthony Phillips

Prime Minister Mark Phillips has declared that Tuesday September 29th is a day for the small man and woman of Guyana as the Hucksters Licensing and Control Amendment Bill 2020 was debated and passed in the National Assembly even as the Opposition APNU/AFC was a no-show.

“Today is a day of reversal, it’s a day of reduction, it’s a day of regrouping and repositioning the people for prosperity in Guyana,” Phillips told the National Assembly as speaker after speaker denounced the ‘draconian’ tax measures imposed by the former APNU/AFC Government.

The Hucksters Licensing fee which was $62,500 was significantly slashed. It now means that the person who is plying his trade on foot or cycle will now have to pay $2,030, those using horse carts or other similar transport $7,250 and those on motor vehicles $36,350.

Phillips noted that the reduction of the license fees will allow small businessmen and women “to do so much more and enjoy a better standard of living.”

He said the former APNU/AFC administration which had promised “the good life for all” thought that the increase in the fees by 92 per cent was a good move in promoting their version of what a good life is.

Meanwhile, Minister of Public Infrastructure Juan Edghill who also contributed to the debate argued that the heavy licensing fee of $62,500 led to tax evasion and non-licensing.

He explained that small business people started “ducking and hiding” because it was impossible for them to afford to pay such a heavy fee and keep their business going.

On this note, he lashed back at claims that the PPP/C is only concerned about the Private Sector, arguing that this bill directly addresses the concerns of ordinary people.

“The truth is; we would have been happy today to enact legislation that is moving Guyana forward but much of what we are doing today is correcting wrongs; it’s almost like we have to clean the slate, make things normal again”.

He said the PPP/C’s vision is to bring the prices down to a level of affordability and hence encouraging small businesses to continue to ply their trade.

“By way of this bill, we are reversing the hardships,” he argued.