The Parliamentary Opposition has indicated its non-support of the 2019 National Budget, deeming it a disappointment and a show of the Government’s “continued disregard” for the concerns of Guyanese.
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, in a statement released today, said that the $300.7B national budget fell short of fulfilling objectives important to enhancing the welfare, well-being and future of Guyanese and Guyana, such as job creation, stimulus for the local economy, support for the productive and retail sectors, and improved crime fighting.
“I expected that the no-confidence motion would have pushed the Coalition Government to respond to the dissatisfaction of the Guyanese people with its national policies. However, this expectation was met with what can only be described as total disregard. None of the concerns articulated as the basis for advancing the no-confidence motion were heeded,” Jagdeo said.
This no-confidence motion was lodged by the parliamentary opposition less than two weeks ago on November 15, long after Government and its ministries would have started the process of crafting the 2019 budget.
Jagdeo further said that Budget 2019 has a projected increase of $31B in tax collection, which he viewed as a further burden imposed on the public and he maintained that the “massive” budget helps no one in its current configuration.
“This increase in tax collection comes, even as, there have been no moves to cut down on extravagant and wasteful spending on things that do not bring benefit to our people,” he said. He continued, “The increase in tax collection also accompanied admissions by the Minister of Finance [Winston Jordan] about the poor performance of the economy and a deteriorating situation with Guyana’s Balance of Payment, among other worrisome macro-economic indicators.”
The $300.7B 2019 National Budget was revealed yesterday under the theme, “Transforming the Economy, Empowering People, Building Sustainable Communities for Good Life”.