Addressing the plight of Guyanese, amid the escalating cost of living, A New and United Guyana (ANUG) has added to the mounting calls for government to do more to provide relief to the citizenry.
In a press release ANUG stated that “The real cost of living in Guyana since 2020 has risen by over 40%. In particular, the cost of
essential commodities has risen drastically: plantain was $80 per lb and is now $200 per lb. It is the working class, who have already endured much over fifty years of decay under poor leadership, who are hardest hit by these increases.”
They called for government to “(1) raising salaries in the public, police and teaching services, especially at the lower scale, by (2) raising the minimum wage, by (3) lifting the income tax threshold, and by (4) providing a system of unemployment and sickness benefits and benefits for school children using the existing National Insurance Scheme structure.”
They posited that this could be done by using the newfound wealth from oil production. “Guyana has received over USD$700,000,000. In royalties and profit from oil production since March, 2020. More revenue is expected shortly.” They stated.
In their Labour Day message
, ANUG expressed their disapproval of the 7% increase in public servants’ wages. This they argued is simply not enough. “The minimum wage is less than
USD$400. The working poor continue to see their meagre income taxed, and the Government tells us that the National Insurance Scheme is bankrupt, and that the Government cannot account for the monies handed out in their cash handout schemes. Meanwhile, billions of dollars are being awarded by the Government in an opaque system where friends and family continue to benefit, billions are spent to prop up a disastrous Guysuco, billions are earmarked for a Gas to Shore project for which the country has seen no feasibility study, and there is a loud announcement of VAT relief for concrete.”
“The working poor do not eat concrete, and they do not buy concrete.” ANUG said.