Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has trashed the APNU+AFC government’s achievements over the last year and on Wednesday he claimed that Guyanese are worse off after one year of the coalition in office.
The Former President criticized the government on what he said was the absence of a concrete plan for the future that addresses the issues of crime and economic growth. “People are worse off after one year of the coalition in office and I see no improvement given the direction of the government,” he told reporters at a Freedom House on Wednesday.
Mr. Jagdeo said the country’s economic growth, though slow, could be fixed but claimed that he is yet to see a plan from the government that signals its intention to do something about the sluggish economy.
He rejected Finance Minister Winston Jordan’s reasoning that a reduction in the flow illicit drugs was partly responsible for the reduction in free spending. Jagdeo believes that the economy is suffering because of a lack of investment which is directly linked to the government’s policy.
“The government has no plan to fix the economy, it is fixable but they have no vision,” he added.
Jagdeo, who is also a former Minister of Finance under the PPP government, said if the government continues to hold on to the reasoning of linking drugs and spending then it stands to miss a huge opportunity to fix the economy.
Jagdeo said that with the expected reduction in gold smuggling and the reduction in oil prices coupled with the government’s thrust to ensure that monies are not siphoned off from the treasury, there should be more money floating around in the country. But he noted that this is not the case and the country is headed for economic decline as a result of a lost confidence.
He said although there is a weakening of global demand, Guyana’s economy can grow.
“The precipitous drop is due to the fact that people do not have confidence in this government and every day they do things to erode confidence further,” he said.
Jagdeo was harsh on the government for its tax policies and claimed that there was politicization of the Guyana Revenue Authority. He said the government’s achievement claims over the last year are pathetic and demanded that urgent efforts must be made to rescue the economy and encourage investment if the country is to move forward.
The PPP was booted out of office one year ago after serving for 23 years. When the party left office, many of the dependent industries were already facing a slowdown. (by Kurt Campbell)