Budget 2024 will continue transformation – MP Williams

During the opening day of the 2024 budget debates in the National Assembly, Government Member of Parliament (MP), Lee Williams defended the historic $1.146 trillion fiscal plan, highlighting that it will continue Guyana’s transformative pathway, create opportunities, and improve the lives of every Guyanese.

MP Williams noted that the fiscal plan builds upon the previous budgets that laid the foundation for development and prosperity and places emphasis on fulfilling commitments made to the people of Guyana leading up to the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections.

Member of Parliament, Lee Williams during the 2024 budget debate

“It [Budget 2024] is transformative and paramount to the lives of the Guyanese people, it is a people-centred budget, where my government, the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic continues to deliver on its promises,” the MP stated during his contribution to the debates.

The yearly increase for the Because We Care cash grant was highlighted, which will see each registered school child receiving $40,000 plus the $5000 uniform allowance in 2024.

MP Williams recalled the period when the previous administration discontinued the cash grant.

“After we demitted office peacefully in 2015, the APNU / AFC Government moved to immediately abolish and abandon the programme, leaving parents especially those in vulnerable situations in darkness with no hope,” he expressed.

Investments are being made to improve education facilities in all regions across Guyana.

The Amerindian village of Waramadong in Region Seven will benefit from a new dormitory that will be constructed, and a new secondary school is being built in Jawalla Village to ease overcrowding at the DC Caesar Fox Secondary School.

The health sector will be boosted in all hinterland regions, and investments this year will further advance the tourism sector.

“Paruima officially launched its tourism product in 2023, after receiving training and support from the Guyana Tourism Authority. Importantly, Paruima is on the catalogue for international trade as a minimum of eight international trips are planned for 2024. Communities nearby such as Phillipai, Kamarang and Kako…Are on the radar for support, in which they will be providing new tourism experiences,” he further pointed out.

With these interventions, he said, income and employment opportunities will be created for the locals.

In the area of infrastructure, Williams noted that strides were made in 2023 to improve roadways, bridges, and airstrips in the hinterland areas and an additional $5.5 billion is budgeted this year.

The government parliamentarian said the administration continues to support the rehabilitation and maintenance of hinterland airstrips to promote access and economic opportunities between coastal and hinterland regions.

“Work has advanced on these airstrips particularly the Paruima Airstrip, which is progressing and will be completed within a few months. This initiative is expected to boost the village’s tourism experience and I am sure similar projects in other communities will benefit,” he informed the house.

Budget 2024 is themed “Staying the Course: Building Prosperity for All.”