In a recent press conference, representatives from Guyana’s political opposition, the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), delivered a scathing critique of the current PPP regime. They pinpointed three key areas of concern: the treatment of small businesses, the continued emigration of highly skilled workers, and the rampant economic disparity under the current administration.
The APNU representatives declared small businesses as potentially powerful avenues to prosperity for numerous Guyanese individuals and households. Drawing parallels with developed economies, they noted that despite their size, these small entities often contribute significantly to employment and GDP output. However, they criticized the PPP for hampering the growth of this sector, citing the need for better access to markets, grants, soft loans, set-aside contracts, technical support, tax concessions, and other benefits.
They further criticized the PPP’s handling of poverty and economic insecurity. The representatives argued that the key to a flourishing small business sector and, by extension, the Guyanese economy, is an increase in spending power for Guyanese citizens. The current high levels of poverty, they claim, is a significant barrier to the growth of small businesses.
The emigration of graduates from tertiary institutions was also a significant point of concern for the APNU. The party acknowledged the challenge of attracting and retaining skilled workers in a developing country but asserted that the PPP had exacerbated the “Brain Drain” by failing to offer competitive salaries, benefits, and conducive working conditions. The representatives also promised that a coalition government would strive to make such citizens feel respected, appreciated, and needed, thereby curbing this loss of talent.
The final issue raised by the APNU concerned the lack of opportunities for ordinary Guyanese citizens to supplement their income through financial investments, such as stocks, government bills and bonds, and business partnerships. They accused the PPP of disproportionately allocating wealth to a small elite, leaving the majority of Guyanese to face economic hardships and marginalization.
In response to these issues, the APNU proposed its People-Centred Development Strategy (PCDS), pledging to create a society where people have numerous avenues to establish economic security. They committed to making economic growth and development inclusive, ensuring no citizen is excluded due to poverty, unemployment, underemployment, social marginalization, or discrimination.