Jagdeo wants free water for pensioners, pension increase in Budget 2018
Even though he did not participate in the budget consultations, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo believes there is enough fiscal space for the government to grant significant increases in old age pension, public servants’ wages and other attractive incentives.
Budget Day is five days away and Jagdeo hopes that Finance Minister, Winston Jordan will present a budget that clearly outlines a pathway to growth and development.
Among the measures he wants in the upcoming budget are an increase in old age pension, a significant increase in public servant salaries, the resuscitation of the electricity subsidy, free water for pensioners, and the reinstatement of the ‘Because We Care Cash Grant’.
The Finance Minister had hinted that the 2018 Budget will have no new taxes but Jagdeo argued that this promise is not comforting.
“No new taxes is not a positive in itself when you’ve already destroyed confidence in the economy, when you’re already in the process of killing many sectors and when the fiscal incentives to many of our businesses have been withdrawn,” he stated.
Despite these demands, Jagdeo explained why the PPP did not participate in the budget consultations.
“We ran a country before and we know what it takes to prepare a budget and to make a productive engagement and so I can’t go there and say we want the following thins and then he (Jordan) will say that the fiscal space is not available,” Jagdeo said.
Jagdeo noted too that the PPP expressed what it wants in the budget in the motion they submitted to the parliament. However, that motion is not yet up for debate.