$5B budgeted to address rising cost of living – President Ali
President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali said government is not turning a blind eye to the rise in cost of living and has allotted $5 billion in budget 2022 to cushion the effects. He said the constant rise in oil prices on the world market affects every aspect of life.
Nevertheless, the increase in cost of living is at the top of government’s agenda, and is being dealt with on multiple fronts, which includes addressing input cost and issues at the consumer and market levels.
“One, is that we set aside $5 billion in the budget for cost of living adjustment. We have to finalise the programme and the consultation has started on that. Secondly, we have to find a way in terms of economies of scale for example with the purchase of fertiliser, because one of the other major problems we have is the draught of the Demerara River. So, instead of one 30,000 tonne ship coming in, you can only have 7,000 tonnes. So, we have an added problem in terms of transportation,” President Ali stated.
President Ali was speaking at a press conference, Sunday, to update the nation on Guyana’s recent participation at the Thirty-Third Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government.Hesaid with what is happening in Ukraine in Eastern Europe, the logistical issues are expected to worsen with the sanctions on airspace.
Since taking office, government has introduced several measures to put more disposable income in the pockets of Guyanese. From the onset, Value Added Tax (VAT) was removed from water and electricity, a burdensome measure placed on the backs of Guyanese.
There has also been the constant increase in old-age pension and public assistance which in 2022, put $2.3 billion and $432 million into the pockets of Guyanese.
Additionally, the PPP/C Government reinstated the ‘Because we Care’ cash grant and school uniform cash grant which stands at $30,000 per child in both public and private schools.
The President Ali -led administration also cut excise tax on fuel on several occasions in light of rising fuel prices since taking office.