After presenting five budgets to the nation, the APNU+AFC Government still fails miserably to explain the economic, social, and political plan it is pursuing to ensure it takes this country forward.

This point was raised yesterday by Opposition Member of Parliament, Anil Nandlall, during his contribution to the 2019 budget debates. The Parliamentarian opened his presentation on the aforementioned point and used it as his premise to explain to Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, what is expected of him when he presents his budget to the nation.

The former Attorney General said, “The crafting and presentation of a national budget is not an abstract exercise. Governments prepare budgets to fulfill certain objectives. These objectives are the direct output of that Government’s economic, social and political policies. However, the fundamental failing of this Government, from the time it took office in 2015 to now, is that it has failed to clearly articulate to this nation what those economic, social, and political policies are.”

Like its predecessors, Nandlall said that budget 2019 is a mere chronicle of random policies and projects, while lacking a centrally directed vision.

Nandlall said, “The people of this country are entitled to know on what developmental path this Government is going. That is why after the expenditure of over one trillion dollars in budgetary allocations by this Government, if you ask the ordinary Guyanese, they will tell you that they are worse off than they were in 2014…We have simply squandered one trillion dollars, over the past four years, in consumables and a never-ending list of non-productive matters, policies and programs…”

Additionally, the politician went on to note that the Government needs to end the practice of mentioning as its own those projects it inherited from the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

He said, “Every major capital project of worth you have been taking credit for over the past three years are all projects you inherited from the PPP. The East Coast Highway; the Cheddi Jagan International Airport expansion project; the East Bank Berbice Highway; the recently concluded West Coast Demerara Highway; the recently concluded East Bank Demerara Highway; and the Sheriff/Mandela Avenue road expansion project are ours. And please, do not embarrass yourself by pointing to the roundabout at Vlissingen Road and the two overpasses on the East Bank Demerara Highway. They are not capital projects of worth.”

Further to this, Nandlall said that the Government has not only spent over one trillion dollars from 2015 to 2018, but in the process has doubled the national debt; placed the foreign reserves at perilously low levels; made the Balance of Payment as volatile as it has ever been in two decades; imposed over 200 new tax measures on the backs of the Guyanese people; caused a reduction of both imports and exports; and triggered a decline in almost every single productive sector.

Nandlall said, “In this melee of misery, I cannot omit the fact that, apart from at the ministerial level, wages, salary and pensions increases for the ordinary Guyanese have remained at a bare minimum. The Government has also scrapped a whole regime of poverty alleviation policies and programmes promulgated by the PPP Administration, which targeted the poor, the elderly and the less fortunate in our society.”

The politician said he hates to paint such a dismal picture of the APNU+AFC Government, but that is the reality of what has transpired over the last three and a half years. “That is the reality which faces the Guyanese people and of which the Government appears oblivious,” Nandlall noted.


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