Relief measures in emergency budget mean Guyanese will keep $20B in their pockets – Jagdeo

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Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo

When all the various relief measures included in the upcoming ‘emergency’ national budget are totaled, the Guyanese public will benefit from over $20B through direct transfers or a reduction of taxes, and this amount is only for a three-month period (now to December).

“Altogether if you look at the measures in the new budget, and a combination of direct incentives and a reduction of taxes, the Guyanese public will benefit from over $20B in relief,” Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo told the media on Monday afternoon.

Jagdeo, who was at the time commenting on the budget measures and what they mean to both individuals and businesses, pointed out that this calculation is for three months, but if the relief measures are annualised it will amount to billions more which Guyanese will be able to “keep in their pockets”.

Jagdeo said that he is very pleased that within a month, the new Government was able to fulfill many of the promises made during the recent elections campaign.

He noted that although this is an emergency budget, the Government has been able to substantively address most of the tax measures it had planned to deal with as laid out in the party’s Manifesto.

“Many of the measures announced are an early fulfillment of the promises that were made to the people of this country. We do not take our promises lightly,” Jagdeo asserted.

Jagdeo, who has responsibility for Finance highlighted that the new Government wanted to return Guyana where it has a “coherent economic policy”.

He argued that the previous APNU/AFC Government did not have an effective economic policy; its policy was based on “consumption and collection of large amount of taxes”.

Jagdeo cited employment and other costs, which he said skyrocketed under the Coalition Government. He explained that employment costs did not result in higher wages and salaries for persons, but an “explosion” in employment with many of those hired not doing anything productive.

“You cannot manage a country by only taxing and consuming, you had to have a policy,” Jagdeo contended.

In this regard, the Vice President noted that the upcoming budget will substantially return an incentive framework to the productive sector through the reduction of numerous charges, such as land rentals, licensing fees, removal of VAT on inputs etc.

“These are going to assist our productive sectors, to create more wealth and generate more employment for people; and that was one of the primary tasks that we set ourselves,” he posited.

Additionally, Jagdeo reminded, the PPP had promised to provide 50,000 jobs “and we have to get that done”.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali had previously announced a variety of measures that will be implemented by the new government, geared to providing support to households and businesses.

The PPP/C government is slated to present a national emergency budget on Wednesday.