Budget 2018 encompasses all- MP Charrandass Persaud.
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Member of Parliament (MP), Charrandass Persaud defending the government’s promise of “The Good Life” said that the “journey is taking longer than expected because of the mess the administration inherited in 2015 and is still trying to clean up.”
The Region Six MP in his justification of the 2018 Budget, last evening in the National Assembly, observed that this year’s budget theme, “The Journey to the Good Life Continues,” is apt. “Any journey has a beginning and there is a course to travel, and during that course, one may encounter difficulties. This is not a magical wand, our policies are not implemented overnight, but we will get there, the good life is going to happen,’’ he promised. Towards getting to the ‘Good Life’ he encouraged the Opposition Members to be more constructive in their criticism, and “bring solutions.”
Persaud also defended the proposed 2018 increase in old age pension, noting that the opposition continues to ignore that fact that pensioners have enjoyed the largest increase in old age pension under the Coalition government. “It is sad that we have to sit and listen to members of the Opposition speak of the withdrawal of subvention ($30,000 per month) for light and water for a pensioner. While that is a fact, in 2015, the old age pension was $13, 125 per month, that was a move to $17, 000, a difference of $3,825 which amounted to 45,800 per year which is way more than the 30,000 subsidies that the pensioners got. And so, the pensioners are way better off, have been since 2015.” Persaud stressed. This year, the pension was increased to $19,000, and provisions are made in the 2018 budget to increase the subsidy to $19,500.
While defending the tax amnesty, Persaud explained that this particular measure will bring much relief to hundreds of delinquent taxpayers. Taxpayers who file and pay all principal taxes on or before June 30, 2018, will have all interest and penalties waived, while those who file and pay all principal taxes between July 01, 2018 and September 30, 2018, will have 50 percent of interest and penalties waived.
On the issue of the sugar, Persaud reminded the House that the Coalition government “could not destroy a multi-million-dollar industry in two years,” pointing out that the industry was on the decline for the past decade. “In fact, GuySuCo was on the decline for over a decade and it was managed by a bunch of people who didn’t know what to do with it,” he said.
During his presentation, Persaud also highlighted a number of developments that have been taking shape in Berbice, under the Coalition administration. He disclosed that the New Amsterdam is benefitting from a new maternity unit and a new theatre at the Skeldon Hospital, canals were dug in several East Berbice Corentyne areas, and roads constructed and rehabilitated. A number of areas also received electricity for the first time.
By: Synieka Thorne