APNU+AFC would lower VAT to 12%, ‘top up’ workers’ salaries – Norton
Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton on Friday said that the APNU + AFC, if in government, would lower Value Added Tax (VAT) to 12 per cent, and would implement measures to “top up” workers’ salaries across the country.
These measures were part of the alternatives he presented as he wrapped up the Opposition’s contributions to the debate of the 2023 National Budget in the National Assembly.
Norton said that the $781.9 billion budget, the largest in Guyana’s history, invests more in big projects than allocating resources directly to people in need.
He, however, said that the APNU+AFC would implement a suite of much-needed relief measures if it were in government.
“We must remove income tax for all those living below the poverty line.
“No one earning below $150,000 should be paying personal income tax,” Norton said.
He also said that salary “top-ups” would be provided to ensure that workers have a minimum livable wage. Later, in his one-hour-long presentation, he promised a 50 per cent salary increase for public servants while also equipping them with the necessary facilities and training to work well.
Beyond these measures, he offered numerous suggestions on how he believes the 2023 budget could be improved, especially to cushion the rising cost of living.
He said the APNU+AFC would provide vouchers for those who work in public transportation so that they can access lower gasoline charges. Norton also promised to waive water and electricity changes for low-income Guyanese.
Norton’s suggestions came after members of the government side criticised the 2015 to 2020 APNU+AFC coalition government for implementing about 200 onerous taxes and removing much-needed cash grants.
One highly criticised tax imposed by the coalition was the introduction of VAT on electricity and water charges. This has been reversed by the government PPP/C.
The government, on the other hand, has defended its 2023 fiscal plan as one that balances short-term development while pursuing long-term prosperity.
But of course he would top up the wages of those he thinks needs it. How selective of him to also lower the vat to 12.5%. Noting that a fiscal number hasn’t been put forward by him as to how much this will add or save the country’s budget. As usual talk is cheap. In his submission most of the Guyanese population would continue to have some extra money to spend but inflation will eat away at that extra bit. They will continue to enjoy ‘pot holes’ roads and would continue to pay rent for some dilapidated rat infested hovel to keep themselves alive and well. This man has no idea. Couldn’t be trusted to run a lemonade stand, much less a party(APNU-AFC) much less a country.
Norton is a comedian. Hey Norton, I will lower vat to 2%.Vote for me.