Gov’t spending about $5B on countrywide part-time jobs initiative
The government is spending at least $5 billion to provide part-time jobs to more than 10,000 Guyanese across the country as part of efforts to cushion the rising cost of living, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has said.
Dr. Jagdeo, speaking during a press conference on Wednesday, acknowledged that price hikes have placed a burden on people in Guyana and in other countries.
He, however, noted that the government continues to explore measures to cushion the higher cost of goods be it fuel or food.
“…we’re going to probably spend another $5 or $6 billion for employing people,” the Vice President said during his press conference at the Office of the President.
Through a recently-launched initiative, people are being hired to work for limited hours weekly. At the end of the month, they are expected to earn about $40,000.
On Wednesday, Jagdeo said that more than 10,000 people will be hired by next year. It is the government’s intention, he said, to supplement income at the household level. In doing so, the government hopes that people’s earnings from this initiative will offer them more spending power.
This initiative adds to other relief measures already rolled out due to a $5 billion allocation made in the 2022 National Budget. With this sum, the government started to offer one-off grants to vulnerable or worst-affected groups such as fishermen, miners, children with disabilities and farmers.
The government has also removed several taxes with the aim of providing relief to businesspeople and citizens.
That $5 billion budgetary allocation, the Vice President said, has not yet been exhausted. As such, the government continues to seek other avenues of providing relief to groups of people worse affected by the price hikes.
“It’s an ongoing task.
“We will consult (and) as we consult with different interest groups we are trying to do stuff,” the Vice President said.
Aside from the relief the government has already provided, Jagdeo alluded to the government’s intentions to expand local production to counter import constraints and imported price increases.
Guyana is currently pursuing an aggressive plan to expand food production. The country is also backing a gas-to-energy project that will produce electricity from natural gas in oilfields offshore; this is expected to slash the cost of energy, thereby spurring industrialisation and manufacturing.