“I will not be sidetracked” – Minister Jordan on Opposition’s move to undercut Budget 2018
DPI, Georgetown, Guyana, Friday, November 3, 2017
Minister of Finance Winston Jordan said he will not be sidetracked by the recent maneuvers of the Opposition, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and its leader, Bharrat Jagdeo to undercut Budget 2018.
The Opposition has signalled its intention to bring a motion to the National Assembly calling for the reversal of the tax regime implemented by the government over the years.
Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI), moments before President David Granger was scheduled to address the Seventy-first sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday, Minister Jordan said the recent bill submitted to the House, by the Opposition, will have no effect on his Budget presentation set for November 27, 2017.
“The budget is at an advanced stage and they had an opportunity to do the budget consultations, so at this stage, I won’t be sidetracked from presenting the budget”, Minister Jordan said.
Further, the Minister said the measures proposed, by the recently submitted Bill to the National Assembly, have not escaped the attention of his ministry and the coalition government.
“Almost all of them are nothing new really. They would have been examined before and have been found to be infeasible, or unworkable”, he noted.
Quizzed about the Opposition’s seeming efforts to undercut the 2018 Budget with the Bill, Finance Minister Jordan added, “I don’t understand what is meant by undercutting my budget. He has submitted a set of measures he would like us to implement in the budget, that’s all.”
The motion, which was expected to be submitted on Thursday, seeks to reverse the imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) on essential food items; electricity and water; pharmaceuticals and medical supplies; and all education goods and services. It also seeks to reverse the new fees and licenses, and an increase in taxes which were included in the 2016 and 2017 budgets.
By: Kidackie Amsterdam