Govt exploring other relief measures amid rising costs – VP

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Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

The government will be meeting with various interest groups, as it continues to examine numerous options aimed at providing support to citizens amid the rise in cost of living.

This assurance was given on Wednesday by Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo in response to a question raised during his press conference at Office of the President, Shiv Chanderpaul Drive.

The Vice President said the $5 billion set aside for relief measures is not yet exhausted.

In the agriculture sector, he disclosed that with the additional cost on equipment, the government is working on acquiring bulldozers and excavators to conduct works on farm to market roads and canals.

However, due to the disruption in the supply chain those equipment will be available until next year.

“It is a tough period, there is very little that you can do. Look at the US, with their might and they’re having a rough time tackling supply responses. So we’re gonna keep working through this to see how we can help vulnerable groups as we go along and one way of doing this too, this is outside of the $5 billion dollars… We’re gonna probably spend another $5 or $6 billion for employing people,” the Vice President noted.

He said the administration, in recognition of the rising cost in basic food and other items, is looking at supplementing income at the household level.

“We will consult and so as we consult with different interest groups, we’re trying to do stuff, so we met with the fishermen. We met with people from the hinterland, met with the farmers. So we keep going, we’re meeting with older folks, the President met with people with disabilities, so as we meet with different groups, we try to extend the help through consultations,” he emphasised.

The administration in response to the increase in prices across sectors, continues to provide support through the reduction and, in some cases, removal of taxes.

Recent interventions include $150,000 cash grants for fisherfolk, $25,000 cash grants for households in hinterland and riverain communities, $1 billion in fertiliser support for farmers and $100,000 cash grants and other support for children with disabilities.