“This is not Winston Jordan’s budget” says Jagdeo; calls on Granger to review
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo is calling on President David Granger to meet with his Cabinet to review the 2017 National Budget and withdraw it or if that is not feasible, to examine the concerns of Guyanese and remove some of the policies that, according to him seek to oppress the poor people of Guyana.
Speaking at a press conference today he said it would be unproductive to blame Finance Minister, Winston Jordan for the harsh policies included in the 2017 National Budget since it is reflective of the collective will of the Government. He is calling on President David Granger to have the budget reviewed since there is time to do so.
The Opposition Leader urged that the Government withdraws or remove some of the “offensive and oppressive” measures that would devastate the lives of poor people.
Jagdeo said his party is prepared to collaborate with Government to share their ideas; however he made it clear that the Opposition would challenge certain aspects of the budget in the courts particularly the garnishment provision, since according to him this will allow the Guyana Revenue Authority to go into people’s accounts without notice. This he noted is a “fundamental breach” of people’s liberties.
Asked if his party should shoulder some of the blame for the contents of the budget, since they did not attend the consultations, Jagdeo said “we are not shouldering any blame,” because the Government should know what is needed to improve the welfare of the citizens.
He is contending that “no President should want this,” citing that Government measures, as included in the 2017 Budget are extreme.
Jagdeo noted too that the measures announced for the greening of the economy would take money out of people’s pockets, pointing to the fact that while President Granger has criticized the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), deeming it as narrow, it sought to earn money through a slew of measures.
The Opposition Leader said the Finance Minister made a misleading statement when he declared that Go-Invest facilitated investment in 2016 that created 6000 new jobs and in 2017 some 3,870 would be created. He questioned the accuracy of these figures.
However, Jagdeo is contending that there was no talk of net job loss given the fact that many companies including Barama are laying off staff.
He said in almost every sector businesses are down-sizing, hence there is need to investigate.