In response to the domestic rise in the cost of living brought on by global factors, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo announced a few new initiatives the government intends to roll out to help struggling families across the country.
He was at the time meeting with residents of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) at Anna Regina Secondary school on Tuesday during one of several meetings planned for a three-day outreach.
Jagdeo told those gathered that among the government’s response is to create almost 1,000 temporary jobs at several government agencies and facilities across the country.
“You will see an ad for temporary employment for about 800 persons starting next week.
“This is a way to help families with the cost of living increase,” Jagdeo said.
The Vice President advised that money is already in the 2022 budget to cater for the hiring and paying of these temporary employees. He was referencing the $5 billion set aside in the budget to fund interventions to cushion the rising food prices.
The Vice President explained that with the creation of these almost 1,000 jobs, only one person from a family will be able to benefit.
“The jobs will be at hospitals and government offices part-time…it’s not high paying but offers three to four days’ work [a week] and will create additional sources of income,” the Vice President said.
The cost of fuel has more than doubled internationally while the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to a significant increase in the cost of commodities; the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis has worsened the international price surge.
Already, the government has announced plans to absorb increases in electricity and water rates brought on by an increase in global oil and fuel prices.
But in addition to that, Jagdeo also announced on Tuesday that the government had set aside monies to offer grants to some 200 – 250 small businesses.
He said applications will soon open for persons to apply for those grants even as the government roll out other support initiates.
Specific to Region Two, the government is looking to support investors who are looking to open call centres and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) facilities.
He said discussions were ongoing at the government level to find spots in Charity and Anna Regina where the government can construct shell buildings for this purpose.
“One of the initiatives is to work with a number of people who want to establish call centres in the region.”
Jagdeo also talked up subsiding the cost for the internet.
Meanwhile, at a recent press conference, President Irfaan Ali noted that the government has already started to examine several solutions to cushion the impact of the price surge on producers and consumers.