No increase in fares – Minister Edghill
Government is once again alerting commuters that it has not approved any fare increase.
This was stated by Public Works Minister Bishop Juan Edghill during a press conference on Wednesday.
“We have made it very clear, we are not authorizing an increase of fares,” the Minister stated.
It comes on the heels of complaints by commuters that operators of public transportation are hiking their fares citing the rise in the cost of living.
The claim by the operators was dismissed by the minister. He said in light of the rise in the cost of living which is a global problem, the government has implemented several measures to cushion the effects.
“The President has announced that of the increase in fuel, GPL cannot charge you an increased light bill. The government is paying part of your light bill to prevent you from having an increased light bill,” Minister Edghill said.
The government he said is also subsidizing the cost of water consumption by all Guyanese. This is in addition to the removal of excise tax on imported fuel.
“If the government is subsidizing the consumer and the operator, how can the operator go to the consumer and says pay me more because I have a high cost of living?” the Minister questioned.
“So, whether it is minibuses, taxis, speed boats we have said no. You can only get more if the people want to pay more but we have advised the people, you have no right paying more,” he said.
The government in its efforts to cushion the effects of the rise in the cost of living set aside in budget 2022 $5 billion to assist Guyanese.
Some of that money has already gone towards easing the burden of persons living in the hinterland and riverine communities and the provision of free fertiliser for farmers.
Since taking office, the government has introduced several measures to put more disposable income in the pockets of Guyanese.
From the onset, Value Added Tax (VAT) was removed from water and electricity, a burdensome measure placed on the backs of Guyanese.
There has also been a constant increase in old-age pension and public assistance which in 2022, put $2.3 billion and $432 million respectively into the pockets of Guyanese.
Additionally, the PPP/C Government reinstated the ‘Because we Care’ cash grant and school uniform cash grant which stands at $30,000 per child in both public and private schools.