Opposition Member of Parliament, Amanza Walton-Desir kicked off the 2022 National Budget in the National Assembly this morning in a fiery address where she dealt with a number of issues in the budget as well as the government’s day-to-day operations.
She chided the administration for not offering anything in the budget for the poor and working class. She said although the Government has been acknowledging the rise in the cost of living, it presented a budget that has not catered to the hardships being faced by citizens.
“Budget 2022 is the most disrespectful, discriminatory, and deceitful budget to ever grace the floor of this House. Mr. Speaker, my late mother, God bless her soul used to tell me show me where you spend your money and I will tell what you value and what your values are”, the MP told the Assembly.
She said based on the Government’s provisions in the budget, its value is not with the people of Guyana and the people of Guyana are not valued.
According to Walton-Desir, with the current state of affairs in the country the budget should have focused heavily on ordinary Guyanese.
“We can give the 50,000 public servants a pay raise of 10% right now, we can provide tuition, free tuition to 11,000 University students right now. Mr. Speaker we can give the 9000 plus Health workers an average of $250,000 bonus right now, we can raise the Income Tax threshold to 100,000 right now, Mr. speaker we can increase the old age pension to $35,000 right now,” the Opposition MP said passionately as she said a lot of the big projects to be undertaken by the Government cannot be completed in the budget year and therefore some of that money should have been shifted to relief efforts for persons still dealing with the cost of living and the impact of COVID-19.
She said while the government has been boasting about billions of dollars in relief measures, those measures have been favouring big businesses and no one else.
“It appears as though this government is hoping that by providing all of these tax breaks to big businesses that the benefits will trickle down to the poor and the working class, we fed up and tell them and the world fed up telling them that trickle-down economics don’t work”, Walton-Desir said.
The MP recalled that measures were offered last year and prices did not budge for the ordinary man, even forcing the President to beg the business community to pass on the measures.
The Opposition Member of Parliament who has responsibility for Foreign Affairs on the Opposition side expressed disgust over the government’s Foreign Policy.
“Since August 2nd 2020, my lord, our foreign policy has become nebulous, incoherent, it has become fleeting and transactional. We have seen Guyana stumble and our reputation tarnished on the international stage. From a senior official having difficulties pronouncing two syllables words—to another one talking about orgasm on international stage. Mr. Speaker this where we are, important policy announcements are emanating from Foreign embassies instead from Takuba Lodge (Ministry of Foreign Affairs),” Walton- Desir pointed out.
Walton-Desir also observed that while massive allocations have been made to some sectors, the sectors that could have offered more benefit to the people of Guyana were left lagging behind.
The Opposition MP noted that the Government has also failed and lost the fight to COVID-19 with the growing surge in new cases and deaths almost daily. She made reference to the current spread, pointing out that nothing appears to be in place to assist in stemming the spread.
According to the Opposition MP, the 2022 Budget is not one that considered the ordinary man and many of them have penned their disappointment on social media.