Budget 2019 full of repetition and disappointment – Jagdeo
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo in his initial reaction to Budget 2019, Monday night, said the APNU+AFC Coalition Government’s fiscal plan for the next year was nothing short of disappointing.
Jagdeo said he had great expectations that the Government would have listened to the citizens and allowed the existing widespread dissatisfaction in its policies to change its approach to budgeting.
He believed too that with the Coalition Government also facing a No-Confidence motion it would have heeded the concerns of the political opposition, concerns the People’s Progressive Party have widely publicised.
“This was not a budget, it was sterile and full of platitudes hoping that they can deceive the people of this country by talking for a very long period,” Jagdeo remarked soon after Finance Minister Winston Jordan wrapped up his four-hour presentation in the House.
Jordan presented a budget to the tune of $300.7 billion, Guyana’s largest budget in post-independence history, but even that number was not enough to impress the political opposition.
Jagdeo said on the creation of jobs, crime fighting, stimulus for welfare and several other measures budget 2019 has failed, proving to be the same visionless document the government has put forward in recent years.
“They have not fulfilled a single one of the objectives that would be important to our people, jobs, fighting corruption, safety in their homes… nothing,” he added.
Jagdeo said the Opposition will not support the budget in its common form which failed to heed the concerns of the opposition. The House will debate the budget beginning next Monday and soon after will immediately look to consider the estimates line by line.
The Opposition have not attended budget consultations but said the Government should have responded to its political advertisements in which it called for adjustments to several policies, including taxation.
Jagdeo said it was a long budget presentation with little substance.
“Maybe Jordan looked good today with a new tie and suit and to pass a budget like this he must be a hater of this government… I’m finding it very difficult to find much good to talk about on this budget.”
Jagdeo insisted that the budget was a repetition of everything the government have been talking on for the last three years.
“He has not dealt with any of the critical issues,” he added.