For 2023, Opposition Member of Parliament, Annette Ferguson said the PPP/C Government must turn over a new leaf. She said the administration must either provide evidence when hurling accusations against the coalition party or keep quiet.

Her request, as published in today’s daily newspapers, was premised on her conclusion that the PPP/C administration appears incapable of providing the list of 200 taxes it said the coalition regime had implemented and subsequently removed upon assuming office two years ago.

In the absence of evidence, she said the administration continues to feed its supporters with a “ridiculous piece of PPP propaganda.”

Ferguson said Guyanese must bear in mind that when the PPP/C took office in October 1992, in its first budget on March 12, 1993, titled ‘Reconstruction for Human Development,’ a number of taxes were increased.

The parliamentarian wrote, “For Hotel Accommodation, a 10% fee was charged on rooms. This took effect on March 15, 1993. Also, taxes, licenses and other fees administered by the Inland Revenue Department’s License Revenue Department, were increased.”

She said these included license fees for vehicles, trading and betting shop licenses, road traffic vehicles fees, airport departure tax, tax on airline tickets, professional fees, and revenue stamps on passports. She said this information is available for citizens to scrutinize in Annex 2, page 46 of the budget speech of 1993. She stressed, “Many of the taxes/fees were increased by 100%.”

Ferguson was also keen to note that there were also increases in taxes when a budget was read on March 7, 1994. She said this resulted in increased taxes for motor vehicles other than minibuses, value or rent-free quarters or residences, and an increase in licenses for TV dishes, both at the personal and commercial levels, including transmitting stations.

She implored that her party during its time in office, never increased taxes but instead lowered same, widened the tax base, increased compliance, improved administration, and closed loopholes for tax evasion. Additionally, Ferguson said if one is to review the budget speeches, specifically budget 2017, presented by Former Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, one would observe that many of the measures did not attract new taxes. She said adjustments were made to a few existing taxes which had not been adjusted in over 20 years.

Since no member of the administration has provided the evidence to support the accusation that it removed 200 taxes implemented by the coalition, Ferguson said the party would be wise to end such ramblings for 2023. She urged for better sense to prevail this year, adding that the political debate must be underpinned by facts.



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