Budget 2023 addresses immediate needs of citizens, while investing for the future – President Ali

His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has described the 2023 National Budget as ‘transitional,’ as it addresses the immediate needs of citizens while making important investments for the future.

The $781.9 billion budget was presented by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh on Monday.

His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

It is the first budget to benefit from the sale of Guyana’s carbon credits, which will amount to $31.3 billion in revenue, alongside a transfer of $208.9 billion from the Natural Resource Fund (NRF).

“Budget 2023 is that transitional budget as we start to work on a framework that utilises new forms of income that utilise the new revenue stream that our country will be pursuing,” President Ali said during a live update on his official Facebook page.

President Ali said the budget includes direct measures that are geared towards the comprehensive and holistic development of all citizens.

“We continue to deliver…deliver on you the types of policies and programmes that will bring prosperity to every home. The type of policies and programmes that will help every stratum of our society.

“It is a budget with a difference. It is a budget that points to the future aspirations of our country, laying out the bedrock and framework for an economy that must be built to become resilient, sustainable, and strong in 2030 and beyond,” the head of state noted.

The budget aims to boost economic growth by providing incentives to increase productive capacity, President Ali said, noting that it addresses specific issues related to welfare, such as protecting vulnerable individuals and improving the lives of the poor by increasing disposable income.

“That is the framework in which the project has addressed our national goals and aspirations in the context of the international reality,” he added.

Highlighting specific measures that directly impact the lives of the ordinary Guyanese, President Ali noted that Budget 2023 is 41.4 per cent larger than the previous year, and is fully financed with no new taxes.

As part of measures to increase disposable income, $3 billion is included for salary adjustments benefitting 5,000 healthcare workers and 9,000 members of the disciplined services.

The monthly income tax threshold will also be increased from $75,000 to $85,000 monthly, releasing a total of $3.3 billion into the hands of taxpayers and removing 12,000 taxpayers from the tax net.

The Because We Care cash grant will also be increased from $25,000 to $35,000, benefitting over 214,000 children in public and private schools and will place an additional $2.1 billion in the hands of their parents.

Old age pension will be increased from $28,000 to $33,000, while public assistance will be upped to $16,000.

Among other things, Budget 2023 takes into consideration the specific cost of living measures. These include zero excise taxes on fuel and the reduction of freight charges.

Additionally, the sum of $10 billion was also allocated for the expansion of the part-time jobs programme, while an additional $5 billion was set aside for the additional cost of living measures to be determined from the ongoing community engagements.

Budget 2023 also caters to the increase in the low-income mortgage ceiling from $15 million to $20 million and the removal of the 14 per cent VAT related the sale of residential properties.