President: Cash transfers not handout – deliberate policy to secure people’s welfare

- APNU+AFC gave lavishly to a few

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The government’s decision to make cash transfers to citizens are not handouts, but part of a deliberate policy to secure the welfare of people and is unlike when the former APNU+AFC government gave “lavishly” to a few, President Irfaan Ali said on Monday as he lashed out at Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon.

“…when they were lavishly giving to a selected few (when they were in government) that was not handout.

“When policies favours the better off in a society – that is not referred to as (handout).

“But from the time you give the poor, from the time you support the poorer sections of the society, from the time you support vulnerable communities, you call it handouts.

“That is not handouts,” the President declared during a press conference.

The President scoffed at a suggestion by the Opposition Leader that the PPP government has rolled back the gains of the APNU+AFC government.

“My God! The only thing we have rolled back is the more than thirty taxes that cost the people tens of billions of dollars.

“You know what we did? We rolled it back, we removed it, remove that burden from the lives of those people,” the President stated.

Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon (Photo: APNU+AFC/June 17, 2021)

He added: “What we rolled back was to give back the children that grant they took away from them.” He was referring to the Education Cash Grant introduced by the PPP but which was abandoned by APNU+AFC once it took government. This year, the PPP reintroduced the cash grant, taking it to $15,000 and doubling the uniform allowance for every public school child to $4,000.

“What we rolled back was to restore those jobs for the Amerindians that they stole,” the President added.

“What we rolled was there undemocratic push to stealing an elections, so there was a lot of rolling back.

As such, the President said the Opposition Leader “insulted communities saying that or implying that we are making these communities receptive of handouts and not building their economic independence.”

“I don’t know how he can go back to those communities that accepting the cash grants that accepted the COVID grants,” the President said. The government has pledged $25,000 for every family in Guyana; most have already received theirs.

“He doesn’t understand the functioning of an economy, the concept of wealth transfer. He doesn’t understand the concept of bridging inequality gap. He doesn’t understand the concept of putting back more disposable income in the pockets of people,” the President said of Harmon.

He said the cash transfers is part of social transformation.

“It is part of social transfer. It is an integral part of an economic system of governance.

“You do not dare insult those people about handouts; they can be assured that this government will continue to support their livelihood.”

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