Guyanese should demand more prudence and accountability from those who spend our taxes

Dear Editor,

Your article ‘IDB unveils $$ for eight Marriott hotels’ (SN, Dec 16) illustrates clearly how hotels are financed in the real world, through private sector investments by banks and other financial institutions, not taxpayers’ moneys.

Surely if the demand for additional hotel rooms in Guyana increased significantly, the local banks as well as the multilateral financial institutions such as the IDB, CDB, etc, would be more than happy to finance new hotels as the expected cash flows would justify the investment.

When local banks finance any project including hotels – and they would only do so if viable – the entire local economy benefits as 45 per cent of the interest charged is collected in taxes. Unlike the use of taxpayers’ moneys, such private sector funding has no fiscal burden on our citizens.

With average annual occupancy below 30, an investment in hotels in Guyana would not attract any interest from local banks and certainly not from foreign banks whose risk management tends to be more rigid.

It is time for all Guyanese to demand more prudence, transparency and accountability from those who spend our taxes as if they are theirs. We bear an immense and unwilling sacrifice with the greater part of our hard-earned dollars literally being taken by the levy of a combination of taxes which amount to the highest rate of taxes in the world, only to be used in irresponsible ways by a few individuals in the corridors of power.

With a non-functioning integrity commission and no other form of safeguard to enforce integrity in public office, timid and almost facilitating private sector bodies Guyanese feel dominated and repressed with no hope for the future.

It is time for us to make a commitment to ourselves and our country by demanding a change in the way the taxes we pay are used.

Yours faithfully,
Robert Badal

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