“Good handling of economy under Granger Administration”- Rawle Lucas

DPI, GUYANA, Sunday, June 14, 2020

The sound management the Guyanese economy by the David Granger Administration has set the country on a good path over the last five years.

This is according to local economist Rawle Lucas, who on Saturday, put into perspective claims by the opposition PPP that the country has run into an overdraft by the Coalition Government.

His statement, titled the “disingenuity of the PPP, looked at the contentions around the negative balances in the government account.  He said the “frenzied views about the data are not consistent with an objective interpretation.

“ These writers are not seeking to educate anyone in addressing the negative balance in the account with the BOG.  Instead, they are making misleading claims that the Coalition has recklessly grown the debt and has bankrupted the economy,” Lucas noted.

According to him, the negative values have positive implications for the country.  He said persons with “sober heads” would realize that the extra money would end up in the hands of private banks which could use it to make loans or otherwise advance its business interests.

“Clearly, such negative balances have the potential of bringing benefits to the private sector as well through the intermediation process,” he said while reiterating that the decline in the balance in the account started under the PPP/C at a time when the economy started to decline dramatically.

Lucas noted the tax collection of the Coalition, which was cited as being over G$300 billion more in taxes than what was collected by the PPP/C from around the time that it left office.

“What the PPP/C alarmists are not telling Guyanese is that in contrast to the tax giveaways of the PPP/C that averaged between G$150-200 Billion, the Coalition was more judicious in the granting of tax concessions, with the result that more taxes and not fewer taxes were collected.”

Further, he reminded that the Coalition had granted taxpayers a nine-month-long amnesty programme in 2018 in which nearly 15,000 taxpayers stepped forward and honoured close to G$10 Billion of their tax obligations.  The money, he said was owed by persons who did not pay their taxes during the years of the PPP/C.

“These are people and businesses who saw fairness in the application of the tax laws under the Granger administration and probably felt that they no longer needed to evade taxes just to stay in business or make ends meet.  In addition to income tax, people and companies paid their fair share of capital gains and property taxes.”

Lucas said none of the critics can prove that the Guyana economy is unsound and incapable of sustaining the lives of its people as the economy grew for five consecutive years under the Coalition administration.

“If one were to look back at the first term of the Jagdeo administration (2001-2005), one would see that the economy contracted on several occasions and the best growth rate of the Jagdeo first term was below the lowest growth rate of the Granger administration.”

He said the performance of the first era of the Jagdeo administration culminated with a flood of the country in 2005 that devastated the lives of many Guyanese who were already struggling in a world of poverty.

“Yet, the propagandists of the PPP/C are stifling their conscience about the good handling of the economy under the Granger administration which could have only come from sound economic management.”