The government is in the process of determining the impact the budget cuts would have and would then present this information to the opposition to prove that its claims that many workers would be placed on the breadline are not mere “idle speculations.”
Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon yesterday told reporters that once the cuts remain, on May 8 the Ministry of Finance will close the books for wages and salaries for this month.
He pointed out that the appropriations for Cabinet, the Defence Board, the presidential secretariat, the press and publicity office and the protocol office have all been reduced to one dollar.
Funds for the National Communication Network (NCN) and the Government Information Agency (GINA) were also reduced to a dollar.
“It kinda makes the case for me… that these individuals are on the breadline. I can’t imagine that there will be another interpretation,” Luncheon said.
He said, efforts are being made by the government to have a temporary or a comprehensive resolution on the matter, but “the clock is ticking.
“So I don’t believe that there is any exaggeration… There are those who have made the cuts those who have made it possible for this situation to develop and now in a very ingenious way are suggesting that it really is not going to happen…,” Luncheon said.
He said there have been no talks between the government and the opposition on the reversal of the cuts. Rather, what is being done is the government determining the impact of the cuts and what the shortfall is.
He said 122 contract workers from Office of President are at risk of being placed on the breadline. He said each of the affected agencies is compiling the information which would be presented to the opposition.
He said that would tell the opposition that the government was not making “idle speculations.”
The combined opposition–APNU and AFC–used its majority of one seat in the National Assembly to cut $21 billion from the $192 billion proposed expenditure for this year, with the bulk of that–$18 billion—coming from the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).