Ahead of tomorrow’s presentation of the National Budget, President Irfaan Ali tonight addressed the nation where he laid out some of his government’s policies and programmes for the year, declaring that Budget 2022 will be people-centered and people-driven.
He said the budget will focus heavily on increasing disposable incomes for individuals and households, the first step to achieve this goal he said is by not introducing new tax measures.
“The policy, agenda and measures in budget 2022 would be aimed and geared towards increasing disposable income and this is critical we must have more disposable income available to the population. So in budget 2022, I have asked the Minister of Finance to include specific measures that will be geared at enhancing and improving your disposable income,” the President assured.
Vulnerable groups including women, the elderly and children stand to benefit heavily from the Budget, the President said.
To address the issue of the rising of cost-of living, Mr. Ali said he has asked the Finance Minister to set aside a “hefty” sum of money which will target individual communities and their needs in order to reduce the cost of living.
But he admitted that the cost of living problem may not be addressed in totality since it is an ‘imported’ problem.
“Budget 2022 is geared towards economic growth and expansion without bringing new tax burdens or hardships on the people of Guyana. Budget 2022 will be aimed at expanding and creating job opportunities, ensuring that we lay the foundation for better healthcare system and education services and importantly greater and more enhanced public/private partnership,” the President said.
The Budget will also cater for heavy investments in technology, education, infrastructure, and security.
The President explained that there will be a rigorous housing drive which will see more Guyanese owning their own lands and homes at a lower cost.
He did not mention anything about salary increases for public servants being catered for in the budget but said he has asked the Finance Minister to look at the income taxes which are paid by workers with a view of easing the burden from workers.
According to the President, the budget will create an environment that will benefit private sector businesses. He noted that his government since coming to office has restored the economy, addressed job loss, and addressed the confidence level in investment. To this end, the President said he believes that Guyana is now in a stable environment.