Add up the new taxes: VAT might as well be raised to 18%

first_imgDear Editor,On both sides of the aisle we heard the promises of the coalition. Lots have been said over the last year on failed promises. I do not believe there were any surprises when we woke up in 2016 and realised we had become a nation where the Government, with zero new initiatives on how to make money, reverted to asking the citizens to pay up more so they can spend on areas that contribute little to the growth of our economy.We all realised how low it has reached, when a donkey cart owner has to pay more to earn a decent living. It has become evident that among the reasons for this dire state of affairs are the lack of projects, lack of policy initiatives, lack of confidence from the investment community – so the financial burden falls on the ordinary citizen – from gun licences to 140 other taxes – they all just went up.Do any polling in Guyana at this point, and I will wager that a large majority of our population will conclude that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) had a much better handle on the economy. Risk-taking and new initiatives had been evident for decades. Since taking office, none of the large projects that would have seen our nation jump the curve to the next level has continued. I guarantee by now, we would have started the bridge to Suriname, paving of the road to Brazil, and driving alternative energy so the manufacturing sector can finally have a chance to demonstrate our competitiveness. None has happened. No new initiatives – name one, oh yes, building out Durban Park in order to bring their own supporters and claim nationalism and patriotism for the 50th anniversary. I have always been a nationalist, flying the flag, wearing the flag on lapel, contributing to the development of our nation and much more, but what I have seen and what we will see over the next few months is not nationalism but simply someone who wants to walk past a military guard and one sided supporters in order to feel larger than life, a good example is the lavish presidential motorcade. I remember seeing former President Jagdeo many times around town with basic security. Today, an entire block or building is shut down if the President is visiting the area. We might as well be living in North Korea.This is the single more important factor for a nation to move forward. The PPP had it at an all-time high, this has been squashed. Look around you, the housing market is down, businesses are struggling to meet basic profits needs, individuals are complaining about more taxes, pensioners now paying more and the list goes on.The PPP/C did what most Governments needed to do to radically improve their economy. Without risks, some projects may never be realised. What is it that this Administration does not understand? They have to stop allowing ‘one man’ consultants who could not survive in the US or other progressive countries to come back and advise them. They are coming in hordes looking ‘fo wuk’. Just hang around Pegasus or ride in few taxis and you will hear the stories.I spoke to many this week who were supporters of the so called “Change” and the overwhelming conclusions is that the Administration has no clue on running the business of the country. They are good though at military parades, pomp and ceremony but out of their depth where it really matters – managing the economy.The PPP/C continues to demonstrate how their previous initiatives and transformation projects must be implemented in order for our nation’s economy to have a chance to succeed. The supposedly better life we are having now is a throwback to the 80s.Someone asked me if I am celebrating our independence, mindful as to how the current Government has alienated and divided the nation. My answer was no. I will raise my own flag, I will respect our institution and our nation and what we as a people have overcome and accomplished. That will be my commitment to our 50th; not wasting precious tax payers’ money building Durban park, when for a little of the funds expended, we could have upgraded our National Park and added a few more stands. Stop with the increases in taxes. Sad to say, if we combined all of the new taxes, VAT is now at about 18 per cent, we are lead to ask where is the promise to cut?The PPP must and needs to regain power in 2020, but in the meantime, their contributions to providing solutions continue in Parliament. They are not a “critical only” Opposition but on every issue, has provided concrete solutions which, if implemented, could result in significant benefits to all of Guyana.Sincerely,Dr Peter R Ramsaroop,MBAlast_img

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