Jagdeo slams APNU+AFC ‘consumption based’ financial philosophy

--says Opposition provides no contesting idea and vision to Budget 2022


One day before the ongoing budget debates wrap up, Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday said the Opposition APNU+AFC has failed to offer any contesting ideas or vision to what was presented by the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP) in its 2022 fiscal plan.

In fact, Dr Jagdeo said the coalition opposition Members of Parliament used their presentations to push its “consumption-based” financial philosophy which allows for splurging on things that don’t offer future benefits to the people of Guyana.

Instead, Jagdeo said the PPP/C government will not go that route and will continue to do what it has always done to invest in the future of the country.

“This is the same philosophy that led Guyana to become one of the most indebted countries in the world in the 80s,” Dr Jagdeo told reporters during a press conference.

He offered his comments in a room at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) where the 2022 budget debates were underway in the dome; a debate Dr Jagdeo said was filled with only rhetoric from the Opposition side of the House.

“What you hear in the Chamber is the underlying philosophy that is not always said clearly in their presentations.”

The Vice President took time to explain the difference in the financial philosophy of the two competing political sides and said the APNU+AFC was staying true to its label and exhibiting the characteristics to prove that it was consumption-based.

Dr Jagdeo pointed to the budget presented by the APNU+AFC in 2019 while it was still in government, noting that the budget increased from $220 billion to $300 billion.

Of that amount, some $231 billion accounted for current spending while capital spending saw a decline and stood at $69 billion.

The former President said this, along with the other budgets presented between 2015 and 2018, show the little priority the coalition gave to capital spending which in large measure is geared towards future planning.

“They don’t think about the future.”

“If we continue with their philosophy, over time, this will build up and we will be consuming everything we earn with no provisions for the future,” Dr Jagdeo reasoned.

He pointed out that the PPP managed to increase that $69 billion in capital spending in 2019 to $103 billion in 2020.

Additionally, in the $552.9 budget this year, which will be financed in part for the first time by oil funds, Dr Jagdeo said while current spending has increased, capital spending will grow to $218 billion, a 110% increase.

“That is us building for the future.”

That’s where we are spending our money, investing in things that the country will be able to feel and touch not all this spending we had on things that just disappear.”

He said spending large on current expenditure also allows for corruption.

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