Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh this afternoon rolled out a $208.8 Billion Budget. The Income tax threshold remains at $50,000 but the tax rate has been reduced to 30%
Heavy focus will be paid to the Education Sector which will receive $28 Billion while the Security Sector will receive just over $17 Billion. The Sugar Industry will receive $1 Billion to assist with its development and sustainability.
The Guyana Power and Light Company will receive $5.8 Billion to support its cash flow requirements. In addition to that, another $5.4 Billion will be given to GPL for several projects. The Budget will allocate just over $2 Billion to the Linden Electricity Company so that rates in the town could remain the same for the rest of the year.
On Old Page Pension, pensioners can expect an increase of $2500 taking the old age pension to $12,500 per month. That increase takes effect from 1st May, 2013. Old Age pensioners who are customers of GPL will receive $20,000 per year to assist with their electricity bills. National Insurance Scheme Contributions will be increased by 1%. For persons making $50,000 and less, the Government will pay that increase.The Opposition parties are not impressed with the 2013 budget and you can expect a very robust debate when the budget estimates come up for discussion next week.
Leader of the Opposition David Granger has described the 2013 budget as bland. He told reporters after the budget presentation that the finance minister failed to address many of the real concerns of the Guyanese people; concerns that would bring about real change. The budget Granger said appeared more like an election year budget, a little for everyone but no substance behind.