Budget 2022 is being prepared with a very select group being invited to present views and proposals, while the main Parliamentary Opposition, the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) has been “systematically excluded” from these discussions. At least this is according to the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Leader, Aubrey Norton.

The PNCR, the largest party in the coalition, is concerned about this supposed exclusion, Norton said, while noting the party’s commitment to supporting and representing the poor, the vulnerable, the disadvantaged, the elderly, single parents, the youth and small and micro businesses.

“In this fractured society of ours, participatory budgeting in which citizens are involved in the process of deciding how public money is spent should become an integral part of budget reform in Guyana. It is futile to think that nearly half of the population can be repeatedly ignored without it leading to dysfunctional development at best,” Norton said

Last week, he enumerated a number of broad proposals, which he said can bring immediate relief to various segments of the population. The following were proposed, among others:

1.     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.
2.    Change in the Income Tax law to ensure that the minimum wage is never taxed
3.    Restructuring of the Income Tax rates from the current 27% and 40% to:
§  15% on the First $3,000,000 of chargeable income;
§ 20% on the Next $3,000,000; and
§  25% on the Balance
4.    Payment of an interim increase in wages and salaries to public servants of 10% pending the start and finalization of Government/Union talks on wages and other benefits for our workers


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