Even if it means standing alone, an Activist and student of a Private Education Institution, Jonathan Yearwood is not giving up the fight against Value Added Tax (VAT) on education.
Yearwood stood alone with his placard in front of the Ministry of the Presidency to protest the action taken this year by the Government to implement the tax on education.
He said “it is a burden. Even though people are not out here protesting, it is a burden that very few people can afford. The rich can afford it, but the ordinary person who sends their child to a private school can barely scrape through with the added amount of VAT added on to the tuition for the private schools.”
The Government had promised during a consultation with stakeholder, to review this tax measure during the preparation of its 2018 National Budget.
In the past, there have been many other participants who protested the Ministry of Education offices and the Ministry of Finance.
But Yearwood is of the view that if the protests stop, the Government will think the tax measure was accepted and endorsed by affected citizens.
He also criticised the Government’s move to relocate the Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine to the Ministry of the Presidency and the promotion to junior Minister, Nicolette Henry to that position.
The Head of State on Tuesday (June 13, 2017) took the decision to relocate Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine to the Ministry of the Presidency to head the Department of Public Service.
As a result, Henry was promoted to that position.
However, citizens are not giving her a free pass for several mistakes made since her assumption to office, especially her infamous mix-up of the Festivals Phagwah and Diwali and her subsequent failure to apologise for the blunder.
Addressing Minister Henry by a nickname which she has been given on social media after the mix-up, “Phagwali Yearwood said “God have mercy on the education system in Guyana with her as head of Education. I don’t see any benefits of her being Minister of Education.”