People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) is suggesting several measures it wishes to see implemented in the upcoming 2022 National Budget so as to offset the effects of COVID-19 that continue to wreak havoc on Guyanese.
The PNCR is proposing an increase in the income tax threshold to $1.5 million or 1/3 of gross earnings, whichever is higher, from the present $780,000. It also suggests a change in the Income Tax law to ensure that the minimum wage is never taxed.
Below is a list of some of the proposals taken from a statement issued by the party this morning:
(a) An interim increase in wages and salaries of public servants of 10% pending the start and finalization of Government/Union talks on wages and other benefits for our workers. At the end of the day workers must get at least 25% in wages and salaries increase.
(b) An increase of $10,000 per month in the old age pension and the grant given to those in difficult circumstances.
(c) The payment of a Covid Risk Allowance to all eligible frontline workers of $50,000 every 6 months until the Covid-19 pandemic has been declared officially to be over by WHO/PAHO.
(d) A grant of up to $5 million to eligible existing micro, small and medium businesses as well as start-ups.
(e) Set aside of about $5 billion to implement a programme of infrastructure renewal in depressed villages and communities, entailing roads, drains, community and recreational centres, markets, etc.
(f) An earmarked sum of money to conduct an immediate survey of poverty in the entire country so as to better target ameliorative policies and measures
(g) It is estimated that between 2018 and 2020, $6billion was spent on the importation of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. This is tragic, given the agriculture potential of the country and the resilience of our farmers. We therefore call for an immediate reversal of this trend. Programmes such as Rural Agricultural Infrastructure Development (RAID), which was implemented under the Coalition government to develop sustainable farming in Buxton, Beterwagting, Mocha and Ithaca, must be revitalized and expanded to other villages, with necessary government support in the form of financing, extension services, marketing and sales.
(h) We support the Commissioner General of the GRA’s call for a review of all tax exemptions granted, for a switch from tax exemptions to tax credits. This method will plug the widespread abuse of tax exemptions, while garnering additional domestic revenue.