AFC recommends free residential house lots, reduction in VAT and cost of living allowances in Budget 2024

AFC recommends free residential house lots, reduction in VAT and cost of living allowances in Budget 2024

With the unveiling of the 2024 National Budget set for Monday, the Alliance For Change political party has offered recommendations of its own.

The AFC has proposed that residential house lots be made free, allowances for cost-of-living-allowance to be made available and a reduction in taxes including Value-Added Tax (VAT). 

AFC Executive, Juretha Fernandes told reporters that Guyanese expect nothing less. 

“PPP administration continue to present budget after budget with no real tangible benefit to the ordinary man and woman. However, Guyanese still have basic expectations from the government for budget 2024. Among these expectations Guyanese expect – free education from nursery to university, as is constitutionally stipulated; increase in the income tax threshold to $150, 000; increase in the minimum wage by 50%, and associated adjustment along the public and private sector, reduction in VAT; increase in old age pension $70, 000, an increase in budgeted allocation to GECOM to cater for a more superior system that includes but not limited to biometrics [and] the remove the cost of residential house lots,” MP Fernandes said. 

The AFC, which makes up the APNU+AFC Opposition in the National Assembly, also wants to see significant investment in national security, public transportation, a reduction in the interest rate for home owners, monetary provisions for first time home builders, and an increase in subventions for the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and Town Councils. 

Asked whether the Opposition was consulted on the budget, MP Fernandes responded in the negative, and explained that since taking Office in August 2020, the Irfaan Ali Administration has failed to engage in meaningful consultation.

She said due to lack of consultation and proper planning, the Government will undoubtedly present the nation with a trillion-dollar budget that will likely fail to address the bread-and-butter issues affecting the Guyanese people. 

“Like every other budget, under every government, the upcoming budget – this being the 2024 budget will be the largest ever. However, for the first time in the history of Guyana the budget is expected to be over 1 trillion dollars. This expectation is based on the fact that in addition to the budgeted expenditure of $781, 880, 963, 000 the PPP government submitted five additional financial papers for the year 2023 that totaled $118, 231, 927, 947 bringing the year to an end with a total approved sum of $900, 112, 890, 947,” she pointed out.

According to the AFC Executive, although last year’s budget ballooned to $900 Billion, several projects remain incomplete.

“Of the $900 billion dollars, we are yet to see the commencement of several projects, some projects are merely now seeing the sod being turned and for the projects that have start there are numerous public outcry about the poor standard of work being carried out by the friends and family contractors associated with the PPP Government,” she said. 

It was noted that though the Government sought and got an additional $118 Billion in supplementary budgets last year, the year ended with many projects still to begin. (Svetlana Marshall)

You must be logged in to post a comment Login