Country’s economy maintained growth in 2017.

DPI, Georgetown, Guyana, Monday, November 27, 2017

Despite global challenges, Guyana’s economy has managed to grow at an average of three percent over the period 2015 -2017.

In his Budget presentation to the 73rd sitting of the 11th Parliament today Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan noted, “this was achieved at a time when most of our neighbours have been facing economic and financial crises.”

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan.

Further, Minister Jordan quoted the Director of Economics within the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Justin Ram who stated, “the future of Guyana is quite bright”.

Detailing the achievements of the Coalition government, the Finance Minister said that within eighteen months there was an increase of the minimum wage by more than 50 percent, while the income tax threshold was increased by a minimum 20 percent, the marginal income tax rate reduced to 28 percent and taxes removed from employees’ contribution to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).

In addition, the Minister said that old age pensions over the same period was increased by 45 percent and public assistance grew by 27 percent.

In keeping with government’s promise the Value Added Tax (VAT) threshold was increased to $15 million from a previous $10 million, the range of exempted items increased, and the rate reduced to 14 percent. Meanwhile the marginal rate for income tax for non-commercial companies was reduced from 30 percent to 27.5 percent.

Minister Jordan also said that the country’s debt to Gross Domestic product ratio was kept at a manageable rate, in keeping with internationally acceptable standards. “At 45.2 Percent of GDP, Guyana has one of the lowest debt ratios in the Caribbean,” Jordan posited.

Likewise, Jordan said contrary to statements from varying sectors of the economy, the country’s net foreign assets have increased to a projected US $613 million compared to US $611 million in May 2015.

Budget 2018 was presented to the National Assembly on November 27, 2017 with the overarching theme, “The Journey to the Good Life Continues.”

 

By: Kidackie Amsterdam

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