Opposition Parliamentarian, Catherine Hughes says the issuance of one-off cash grants will do very little in the long term, and therefore called on the PPP/C government to increase the minimum wage. The Member of Parliament (MP) made this call during her presentation to the House of Friday during the 2023 budget debate.

Hughes said the recommendation proffered by her party to take the minimum wage to $100,000 fell on deaf ears, while the citizenry continues to be pummelled by the high cost of living in the country. She noted that while her party supports the issuance of cash grants, it must be seen as a “top-up”, rather than a concrete, direct response to the impact of the high cost of living. According to the MP, cash grants will do very little in the long-term, but noted that higher wages and salaries will go a further way in reducing poverty.

She further stated that with an increase in salaries, public servants can qualify for larger loans at lending institutions, and would therefore be in a better position to provide for their families.

“What is of great concern, which is reflected in this budget, is the government’s propensity to provide cash grants instead of increasing wages and salaries. We are in support of cash grants, but it must be a top-up. Because guess what? You can’t take a cash grant to a bank; you can’t use a cash grant that is unpredictable and subjected to the whims and fancies of this government to give it to you…” the former telecoms minister lamented.

Guyana Standard previously reported that the government set aside $5B in the budget to help combat the high cost of living. Its expenditure will be determined upon the completion of outreaches, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh told the House on January 16, 2023, when he presented the $782B budget.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here