A national consultation is underway to find solutions and the best options available to combat the rising cost of living, Head of State Dr Irfaan Ali said. The PPPC administration said that this will done with the aim of easing financial difficulties on the general public.
President Ali noted that stakeholder consultations is key to addressing this plight.
The Head of State made this announcement on Tuesday afternoon. “So as if COVID-19 was not enough, the war in Ukraine came upon us, taking out close to 40% of global wheat production, taking the price of oil to as much as $126 per barrel, driving up the costs of transportation, cutting off supplies, and if this was not enough, China with just an emergence of a few [Covid-19] cases, has gone into lockdown again.”
President Ali assured that his Government is “aggressively” tackling the issue and examining the best approach.
“We have already started discussions, and the Government will be continuing that aggressively with a cross-section of Guyanese and communities so that we can come up with the best possible approach; listening to ideas, listening to some of the connected issues and then coming up with some policies.”
In addition, President Ali reminded that nearly $5b has been earmarked in the 2022 Budget towards various interventions aimed at easing the burden of the rising cost of living.
Since taking office, the Government has introduced several measures to put more disposable income into the pockets of Guyanese. From the onset, Value Added Tax (VAT) was removed from water and electricity.
There has also been a constant increase in old-age pension and public assistance, which in 2022 put $2.3b and $432m into the pockets of Guyanese.
Additionally, the PPP/C Government reinstated the ‘Because we Care’ cash grant and school uniform grant, which stands at $30,000 per child in both public and private schools.
The Government has also cut excise tax on fuel on several occasions in light of rising fuel prices since taking office.
“We have reduced it to a point where I think it’s at 10% …so that has been continuously done without anyone calling for that…”