As the Government moves ahead with preparations of the 2022 National Budget, People’s National Congress Reform Leader Aubrey Norton is imploring the Government to take the current economic climate in the country into consideration and provide increases in wages and salaries, and allowances as well as other incentives.
With the World Bank projecting real growth of 49.7% in 2022 and with the Government expected to have access to the Natural Resource Fund (NRF), the PNCR said the Administration must craft a Budget that will bring relief to the Guyanese people and transform their lives in a meaningful way.
Mr. Norton said apart from increasing the income tax threshold there, there should also be a change in the income tax laws to ensure that the minimum wage is never taxed, among other sweeping measures.
“An interim increase in wages and salaries of public servants of 10% pending the start and finalization of Government/Union talks on wages and other benefits for our workers. At the end of the day workers must get at least 25% in wages and salaries increase. An increase of $10,000 per month in the old-age pension and the grant be given to those in difficult circumstances.
Additionally, the PNC Leader is calling for the payment of a Covid Risk Allowance to all eligible frontline workers of $50,000 every 6 months until the Covid-19 pandemic has been declared officially to be over by WHO/PAHO.
A grant of up to $5 million to eligible existing micro, small and medium businesses as well as start-ups, is among the other requests.
“Set aside about $5b to implement a programme of infrastructure renewal in depressed villages and communities entailing roads, drains, community and recreational centers, markets, etc” Norton petitioned.
Mr. Norton said he also wants an earmarked sum of money to conduct an immediate survey of poverty in the entire country so as to better target ameliorative policies and measures as well a review of all tax exemptions granted, for a switch from tax exemptions to tax credits. This method he said, will plug the widespread abuse of tax exemptions, while garnering additional domestic revenue.