What the people say…

How have you found food prices? Have you had to make changes in what you purchase? We asked the man/woman in the street these questions and their responses follow:

Charles Douglas, tailor: “I have found that food pieces are very high. I am trying to cope with it but it has been tough. I tried to reduce the amount of things that I buy but I couldn’t. You have to eat. A bottle of frying oil has now gone to $400 and in some cases $440; milk, cooking gas, garlic, onion, potato, all gone up. I started to notice the increase when VAT started. I had to cut down on certain things I use because of the prices. I am a tailor and it’s a good thing I have a trade because I don’t know how I would have survived. I retired two years ago and it would have been hard on me. I believe that food prices will continue to increase.”

Clarene Halley, self employed: “Yes I have noticed an increase in food prices. Things like flour, milk and basic food commodities have gone up and I think this is happening because of VAT. I have noticed the increase since VAT started. Everything just keeps going up and it’s not fair to people because the salaries are not increasing but the prices keep rising all the time. Even the transportation costs for school children have increas-ed. I had to cut back on some of the things I buy just so that the money I have can do. Sometimes even if you cut down on the quantity, the money still doesn’t do. These high prices are too much and it is getting people sick. The cost of living is too high and the children aren’t eating properly. So many children are on the streets begging because their parents cannot afford it.”

Sandra Singh, housewife: “I have noticed that food prices are high and it’s hard on me because I am a single parent. Everything from peas, channa, rice and flour has increased. I have to cut back on the amount I buy because I just cannot afford it. Now I have to eat less. This is not fair and I don’t know why the prices are increasing so. Things going up every week.”

Winston McDonald, pensioner: “There has been an increase in everything. I think that this increase came about because of economic pressure. The increase is rough on everybody, even the rich. I have noticed the increase for some time now and it just started creeping up. Because of this I had to cut back on the amount of things that I buy for the household. I am treating this situation as something I have to deal with for the rest of my life. I am preparing for the hard times.”

Yvonne Flue, housewife: “Yes I have noticed an increase in food prices earlier this year. Things like peas and basic food commodities have gone up. I think that this is happening because of the economic state of the country. We don’t produce enough and we import a lot of things. I think that this situation will last until the government does something. We have to start producing our own things and I believe that we have the ability to do that. I had to cut down on my shopping list especially milk products. Your money is not being increased and this is not fair to us at all.”

Cojoe McPherson, contractor: “I think that the commodities are above the wages and it cannot compensate for daily living. Things that we produce here such as rice and sugar have increased and this shouldn’t be. In addition to this high rise in food items we now have to deal with an increase in transportation which is an added burden. Take away food and transportation and you can cripple a nation. We would have to cut down on the things you buy especially if you have a large family.”

Foya Reid, private sector employee: “Everything has increased: milk, potatoes, onions – everything has gone up. I don’t know why this is happening, but it is not fair. The cost of living going up but salaries are not and I think that food prices will continue to go up. I cannot afford to cut down on the amount of things I buy because I will be lessening my children’s food. I am just hoping that things will be back to normal some time soon.”

Ranie, housewife: “Things have increased a lot, mostly tinned items, which is something that people use a lot. I don’t know why this is happening but it is not fair, especially to the poor people. Rice prices gone up and I can’t understand why this is happening especially when it is being grown right here. This country just keeps going backward all the time. Up to last week food prices in the market went up. I can’t cut back on the amount of things I buy. You have to spend your money. How are you going to live?”

Ryan Khungel, accountant: “I have seen an increase in items like rice, some tinned items. I think this is happening because of VAT. I have had to cut down on the quantity of things I buy. This is not fair at all. I think that the 16% is too high. In America VAT is 8 per cent. I believe that the people in Guyana just want to be greedy and that’s why ours is so high. We will continue to suffer.”

Winslow Bumbury, mechanic: “Yes, I have noticed an increase in the price of things such as milk and greens. Everything gone up. This is happening because we are not planting enough. This situation is an economic problem. The income people make is a problem too because with the increase in food they can’t afford it. Salaries are not being increased but the cost of living is. I had to cut down on the quantum of things I buy. I used to buy a bag of fine rice for my dogs but I can’t now because the price has doubled. I have to buy it now by the gallon. I don’t think that this situation will change any time soon with this present government.”

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