After doing an independent analysis of the economy, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) is convinced that cost living is skyrocketing under the APNU+AFC administration.
In this regard, FITUG said it observed that the prices of several staple and important commodities are on the rise. It said that data obtained from the New Guyana Marketing Corporation with respect to Stabroek Market, shows that between January, 2016 and January, 2018:- the price of squash went up by 84 per cent; eggs by 36 per cent; cabbage by 33 per cent; cassava by 25 per cent; boulanger by 11 per cent; bora by 8 per cent, among other things.
The organization said that compounding this is the fact that citizens have to deal with a 14 percent VAT on electricity and water bills.
The Union said, “Added to those woes, workers also have to find extra sums for rates and taxes. Already, some workers who reside in Georgetown have been asked to pay additional sums of rates and taxes this year. As far as FITUG is aware, there has been no official announcement of such increases but citizens are confronted with a higher bill when they visit City Hall to address their payments…”
To help the ordinary man confront the aforementioned heavy burdens, FITUG is calling on the government to increase the rate of Old Aged Pension to $30,000 per month; reduce the excise tax on fuel towards having a reduction of public transportation fares and the cost of transportation of goods; reintroduce electricity and water subsidies for Old Age Pensioners; and utilize the Government school buses, when not transporting students, used to transport pensioners to uplift their pensions and to visit hospitals, health centres, etc.
It also wants the government to examine the introduction of 24-hour state-operated day care for single parents.
FITUG made these demands during 2019 budget consultations with the Finance Ministry today.