President Ali shuts down Norton’s criticisms of budget 2023

Says PPP/C Gov’t embraces all Guyanese as ‘one family’

His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has dismissed the claims made by the Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton that the recently proposed Budget 2023 is biased against the working class and favours ‘families and friends.’

Addressing the claim during a press conference at State House on Tuesday, the president said, “I am just shocked and surprised, but what more can we expect?”

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali

The president said that the Opposition’s claims can be viewed in a positive light.

President Ali noted that despite the opposition’s criticisms, the government’s programmes are positively impacting Guyanese all across the country, whom he considers to be ‘friends and family.’

“The housing programme, 25,000 Guyanese families would own their own house lots and their own homes eventually…I take them as my friends and family…Yes Mr Norton, the 25, 000 persons that will be getting their house lots under this government are our friends and family because in your five years in government you failed to give any of them anything,” he stated.

The head of state pointed to the increase of the monthly income tax threshold from $75,000 to $85,000, and the $35,000 Because We Care cash grant which is expected to benefit 214,000 children.

Old age pension will also be increased from $28,000 to $33,000, benefitting 73,000 elderly persons.

President Ali also referred to the $3 billion included in budget 2023 for salary adjustments benefitting 5,000 healthcare workers and 9,000 members of the disciplined services.

“You are part of this great one Guyana family and I am happy that the Opposition leader has finally realised that all of these people form part of this one big happy one Guyana family.

“So, I am not looking at it in a negative way. What the man was really saying was that Guyana and the delivery of Budget 2023 is for the entire Guyanese friends and family. He’s accepting the fact that the PPP/C Government has embraced the entire Guyana as our family,” the president added.

President Ali disclosed that he will be examining the budget in a more substantive way in the coming weeks.

“I am going to deal with it on the ground, in the arms of people, in the hearts of people, alongside people, walking the ground, walking the streets…. When I go to Canje, or South, or Albouystown, or Leonora, and we deliver to the people, roads, community roads, drainage and employment—that is where the money is going,” he underscored. 

The $781.9 billion budget was presented by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh on Monday.