PPP/C says to continue `educating’ on budget cuts

The ruling PPP/C says that it will continue to educate Guyanese about the “anti-development acts” of the combined opposition and will act to ensure that Guyana is not held to ransom by the “tyrannical” action of the joint opposition in the National Assembly.

Responding to Leader of the Opposition, David Granger’s televised speech yesterday, the PPP said it is not amused by his statements. “Rather than apologizing to the public for the APNU/AFC vindictive political acts, Granger has instead indicated an unwillingness to put the people of Guyana first and continue to play politics with the future of all Guyanese,” the ruling party said in a press release.

Granger had said that APNU and the AFC acted in the nation’s interest by making cuts to the national budget and he called on the PPP/C to return to the negotiating table and agree to introduce reasonable reforms, like a lower VAT. He urged that government collaborate with the opposition to introduce an agreed supplementary budget, which gives the Guyanese people the “good life” they deserve.

The opposition, using its one-seat majority in the National Assembly, last week made cuts amounting to $20.8 billion of the $192.5 billion originally proposed by Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh. APNU and AFC cited concerns about a lack of accountability for some allocations as well as the need to trim wasteful spending in order to enable measures to address the cost of living. President Donald Ramotar on Friday criticised the opposition for slashing the budget and accused APNU of reneging on agreements reached with his administration. He did, however, affirm his continued commitment to dialogue with the opposition.

Criticising Granger’s speech, the PPP said that no explanations were offered other than to teach the PPP/C a lesson as to who is in charge of the National Assembly. “Is this how the opposition intends to approach governance in this country? Are the people of Guyana now pawns for the opposition as it continue its politics of bullyism and one-seat dictatorship escapades,” the party questioned.

The party reiterated the position of Ramotar that “Using the dictatorship of one which they (opposition)have in Parliament they want to stymie further progress obviously in the hope that if they can stop the development of our country they would advance their political mission which is to take power, even if is at the expense of ordinary Guyanese well-being. This is most reckless and irresponsible and reflects the undemocratic nature of APNU, a creature of the PNCR, and the AFC which is led by bitter men obsessed with achieving personal power.”

The statement said that the many projects such as a hydro-electricity station, the ICT development, and land titling and economic projects for Amerindian communities are all under threat, as well as hundreds of jobs of ordinary Guyanese. “It is now a dark period in our nation when even national unity and harmony are also under attack with the elimination of the budget of the Ethnic Relations Commission. Who will benefit from these cuts? Only the egos of the APNU/AFC leadership and the narco-drug traders given that even the budget of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit was also chopped,” the release said.

The PPP urged Guyanese to be vigilant and defend their hard fought gains against the APNU/AFC “who seem bent in taking Guyana back to a state of poverty, joblessness, misery, division, insecurity and backwardness.” It said that the party will ensure that progress continues in the land.



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