‘No cheap talk’- Dr. Singh wraps up budget debate, says gov’t spending on all Guyanese

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In an animated rebuttal and presentation reminiscent of his five-hour long 2024 budget speech, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh Friday wrapped up the budget debates by assuring Guyanese that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) was investing in ventures that will improve their lives.

Just before the Finance Minister began his presentation, most Opposition Parliamentarians representing the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Alliance For Change (AFC) parties left the parliamentary chamber.

Nevertheless, the Finance Minister sought to respond to presentations made by each Opposition Parliamentarian during the weeklong marathon debates.

He only spoke about Guyana’s first trillion-dollar budget towards the tail end of his presentation. What he spent a majority of his three-hour presentation doing was reminding Guyanese of the promises made by the APNU+AFC coalition in 2015 before they went into government and in 2020 when they were seeking a second term.

Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh wrapped up the 2024 Budget Debate infront of his colleagues on Friday (Photo: News Room/ January 26, 2024)

According to him, grandiose suggestions were made by his colleagues in the Opposition. Though some of those might be bonafide and helpful, he said they were also hypocritical and at times, laughable.

“We were regaled over the last five days with a lot of cheap talk,” Dr. Singh said.

Evidencing this assertion was Dr. Singh’s resort to the APNU+AFC manifesto for 2015 and 2020. He handpicked some of the promises made in those years and argued that the coalition government seemed hyper fixated on conducting studies and assessments instead of making actual investments to improve people’s lives.

He also reminded Guyanese how much they lost because of taxes and other policies implemented by the coalition government.

In just one example, he said a family comprising three school-aged children lost about $150,000 in five years because the PPP/C’s $10,000 ‘Because We Care’ cash grant was axed when the coalition governed from 2015 to 2020.

Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh before he wrapped up the 2024 Budget Debate on Friday (Photo: News Room/ January 26, 2024)

In another example, the Finance Minister said an average, a Police Inspector lost about $545,000 in those five years- using conservative figures- because the annual one-month bonus for members of the disciplined forces was also axed.

But Dr. Singh posited that the reason the PPP/C was elected back to government so quickly was because citizens know the party has a clear plan for development and it is consistent on measures that bring relief to people even as investments are made in other productive ventures.

“Whether it be the highways, the regional hospitals or the hinterland telemedicine programmes, or the cash grants for children…

“Whether it be the restoration of the cash grant for our children or the restoration of the one month bonus for our disciplined services, we are very clear about what we will do,” he said.

And he contended that Budget 2024 continues to help the government realise its plans for Guyana.

“Budget 2024 is a budget for all Guyanese, not only public servants who will benefit from salary increases and cash grants… but we cast the budget in a particular frame (wherein) no other time in our country’s history, entrepreneurial opportunities are so abound,” Dr. Singh added.

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1 Comment
  1. Derek De Souza says

    people of Guyana you should be very very very very proud of your government..

    stand with them.. be strong and proud and your lives would only get better under leadership of president Dr Ali.

    the outside world is watching.

    Derek De Souza
    Trinidad

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