SEE STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT TRADE UNIONS OF GUYANA (FITUG) ON BUDGET 2023:
The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) having considered the 2023 National Budget believes that the stage is now set for a strong and secured future for all Guyanese. The Budget, expectedly, addressed a gamut of policies and touched on every area of national life aimed undoubtedly at enhancing the well-being of the ordinary people.
This is laudable especially given the several challenges that the Irfaan Ali Administration inherited on its assumption to office and the new difficulties that has since arisen.
We note several measures all aimed squarely to bring about a better life for everyone. In this regard, the Federation welcomes the improvement in the income tax threshold which are told will see some 12,000 more persons not being required to pay income taxes while putting over three billion dollars ($3B) in the pockets of our working people.
We appreciate too improvements proposed regarding old age pensions and public assistance. These sums we are sure will undoubtedly aim to reducing some of the burdens faced by our society’s vulnerable. The investment in our children with yet another increase to the Because We Care grant also brings further relief to our peoples.
We anticipate as our economy continues to record steady and impressive expansion in the coming years additional improvements would be forthcoming. The FITUG in its submission to the Honourable Dr Ashni Singh had made similar proposals. From what appears in the Budget we believe that the Government had sincerely listened to our suggestions.
The FITUG noted as well the substantial investment programmed towards the social sectors. Taken aggregately, a substantial proportion of the Budget has been earmarked towards improving the our people’s standard of living whether it be education, health, housing, water, and social services.
These are critical investments that will go a long way to ensure our people benefit from our steady developments. The massive infrastructural programme will also enhance Guyanese comfort as well. We take keen note of the significant resources allocated to community infrastructure as efforts are hastened to build cohesive and strong communities.
These are issues we had advanced in our proposals to the Administration and are heartened to see them taken onboard. Similarly, we note sums earmarked to several flagship projects which in the short and medium term will enhance connectivity and bring further improvements to our people.
The Budget also paints an exciting future as well. We anticipate that the gas-to-shore project will meaningfully reduce electricity tariffs and the cost-of-living. Investments to consolidate our traditional sectors and expand non-traditional sectors portends improved economic opportunities for our workers. While enhancing our climate resilience will safeguard our people.
The Federation recognizes as well that several policies are maintained by Budget 2023. The removal of excise taxes on fuel and measures to reduce import tariffs payable on commodities will assist in minimizing the ravishes of the turbulent economic occurrences taking place beyond our borders.
The Federation is heartened by Budget 2023 more so considering that the substantial expansion of government investments comes against the background of no new taxes. Indeed, the Budget, we believe, has something in store for everyone. We anticipate that the investments programmed can be quickly rolled out for our people to secure the benefits envisaged. At this time, the FITUG takes the opportunity to congratulate His Excellency President Irfaan Ali and his Government on a well thought-out and forward-thinking budget.