Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, has described the 2017 National Budget as “ominous” and believes it has done nothing to add growth to the economy.
At a press conference just after the Finance Minister unveiled the government’s $250 Billion 2017 budget, Mr. Jagdeo said the budget “is the worst I have ever seen”.
Jagdeo who once served as a Finance Minister before he became President when the PPP was in office, said not much thought was put into many of the projects announced by the Finance Minister in the budget.
He slammed the government over the move to add the reduced Value Added tax to electricity and water bills once those bills are over a certain amount.
The Opposition Leader said the budget may cater more for the rich than it does for the poorer people of the country. He also criticized the move to have a number of items that did not previously attract VAT being added to the list that does, even as more items will not attract the tax.
Mr. Jagdeo said he would have been happy to see a budget that was more supportive of efforts to spur economic growth and encourage investments.
He said “as we got to the latter part of the Budget, particularly when he announced the measures, I changed that assessment to immensely ominous for the future of Guyana, for the future of job creation and growth, and business development and for the future of welfare and growth in benefits to ordinary people”.
Jagdeo said the budget was filled with lots of old rehashed information and his party will point out all of the faults and problems when the budget debates begin next week.