Declaring the 2020 national budget as deceptive, APNU+AFC Member of Parliament Roysdale Forde today lambasted the budget as having everything for the private sector and nothing for the ordinary man.
“Mr. Speaker, the APNU+ AFC is pro people. We are not anti-Private Sector, we are pro- people. But when we look at the range of measures that have been announced by the Government we find that they are overwhelmingly skewed in favour of the Private Sector, overwhelmingly beneficial to the Private Sector. The measures fall short of providing relief to support the people of this country. Mr. Speaker, this is not the time for a Private Sector Budget. Mr. Speaker, how does bringing back used cars and old tyres assist in solving the problems associated with Covid?”
Mr. Forde said the budget should have catered more for the ordinary man, especially under the current economic crunch because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“As the Honourable Member, Bishop Edghill stated “this administration is
decidedly ….”pro-private sector” Hon. Member Indar stated “yes! This Budget is pro-private sector.” Mr. Speaker, the Government states that this is an Emergency Budget for Covid-19 to cater to the threat that COVID poses to this Country. Mr Speaker, there is no emergency measure to ensure that the people of the country are capable of accessing education and health services”, Forde told the House.
He said while the Government has described the budget as being an emergency budget, there was no emergency consultation with anyone and that has resulted in a budget that will allow old cars and used tyres to be imported as part of key measures.
“Mr. Speaker, the Budget is Private Sector skewed because in the face of death and the pain and suffering of the ordinary Guyanese People in the hinterland, in the North West District, on the Corentyne Coast and in Georgetown, it removes VAT on fertilizers, chemicals, pesticides and other inputs in the poultry sector”, Forde lamented.
He said despite the Government’s statement that the treasury was empty and the nation was badly managed, the Minister who presented the budget was forced to admit to the economic growth that occurred under the APNU+AFC and that points to the deceptive nature of the budget.
According to the APNU+AFC frontbencher, “The Budget Speech, whilst seeking to conceal that the PPP/C outfit inherited a well-run, well managed and functioning economy was nevertheless compelled to confess it. At para 3.1 – Real GDP grew by 5.4 percent with non-oil growth pegged at 4.3 percent. Para 3.9 – Mining and quarrying industries expanded by 10.6 percent in 2019 driven by the emerging petroleum and gas and support services industry, which grew by 124.2 percent over the previous year- gold mining 3 percent, other mining and quarrying by 7.3 percent and bauxite 1.7 percent. Para 3.11- Manufacturing industries expanded by14.7 percent in 2019, rice and other manufacturing increased by 26.4 and 14 percent respectively. 4 Para 3.12 – Construction industry grew by 3.1 percent. Real estate mortgages grew by 6.9 percent. Loans for industrial and commercial properties increased by19.2 percent. Growth in borrowing for private dwellings 5.9 percent. Para 3.13 – Service Industries grew by 4.2 percent with expansions recorded in all major industries. Wholesale and retail trade grew by 5 percent. Administrative and support services 5.8 percent and Transport and Storage by 6.9 percent. This, Mr. Speaker, is the result of sound policies and careful management of the Nation’s affairs by the APNU+AFC Government”.
The Senior Counsel said what the budget has in fact done is set the blueprint for the return of societal collapse, high crime, discrimination, marginalization, and oppression. He said it is clear the PPP will move ahead with the budget despite its shortcomings.