Gov’t partakes in inclusionary democracy; Performance will be determined at 2018 local polls- Granger


President David Granger has expressed satisfaction that his Government is engaging in consultations before implementing its policies and programs.

During his most recent recording of ‘The Public Interest’, the Head of State was asked whether he is pleased with the way the Coalition is governing, given that many of its measures were met with widespread protests.

It is apparent that the President believes weekly meetings with Cabinet members are tantamount to consultations. “We come to decisions in a very methodical and systematic manner, all the decisions really about running the Government come out of the Cabinet,” he said.

The protests alluded to, are that against Value Added Tax (VAT) on Private Education and the closing of Sugar Estates.

“The point is that we need to ensure that the taxation system is more equitably administered and the question of VAT on Private Education is not a failure to communicate because these are matters which were discussed within the Cabinet…As far as the sugar industry is concerned, we’ve had months of consultation, we’ve had Commission of Inquiry, we’ve actually published a draft paper; the Unions have been invited, the opposition has been invited so, consultations taking place,” the President outlined.

Following the presentation of the 2017 National Budget and the implementation of several Tax measures, protests were hosted at various Government Agencies and Ministries. One which is still ongoing is that against VAT on education; something which the Government has promised to review during the formulation of its 2018 Budget.

A suggestion was made for the Coalition to hold a mini-poll to determine how it is “being received” by citizens.

The Head of State noted that while it might be useful, with another Local Government Elections (LGE) fast approaching, that “will be a barometer of the popularity of the administration.”

Local Government Election is slated for March 2018.

At the 2016 LGE, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) won the popular vote capturing 25,000 more votes than the governing APNU+AFC under the proportional representation (PR) component of the polls.

In the municipalities, APNU+AFC won the popular vote in Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam, Mabaruma, Bartica and Lethem. Anna Regina, Rose Hall and Corriverton went to the PPP/C.

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