Opposition missed opportunity to present development ideas to National Assembly – Finance Minister

Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh

Senior Minister in the Office of the President, Dr. Ashni Singh says the main Opposition in the National Assembly, the APNU/AFC, has missed an opportunity to present its plans to aid Guyana’s development.

Dr. Singh made this statement on Monday in an interview with DPI, at the conclusion of the Budget debate.

“On the Opposition side of the House, they brought quite a lot of personal insults, a lot of the standard menu of innuendos, a complete bankruptcy of ideas and essentially tried throughout their presentation, built their presentation around misrepresentation and half-truths and mistruths to the people of Guyana,” he said.

Dr. Singh said the Budget debate served an important purpose. He congratulated the Government speakers for explaining the developmental agenda to the nation. He said the Ministers delivered a realistic and comprehensive plan to address the development challenges of the country.

“Our MPs took the Budget debates to elaborate their various plans for their various sectors,” he said.

Minister Singh said the true nature of the main parliamentary Opposition was exposed once again, even as he referenced the series of events that occurred following the passage of the no-confidence motion on December 21, 2018. He said the APNU/AFC continues to believe they can insult the intelligence of Guyanese.

“They are looking people in the eye and saying the Budget has nothing for the ordinary Guyanese when they know that is not true. They know that we’ve increased old age pension, we’ve increase public assistance, we have returned the zero-rating food items on basic necessities, we have reduced taxes on construction materials.

We have increased the grant to school children. How can you watch the people in Guyana and say the budget has nothing when the people of Guyana know the budget has these things for them?”

The budget also provides a five per cent reduction in water tariff across the board, while making a $750 million provision to aid the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines among other measures to provide relief to citizens.

The debate on Budget 2021 concluded this evening after five days of presentations. The $383.1 billion Budget was themed, “A path to Recovery, Economic Dynamism and Resilience,” and contains no new taxes.