City still strapped for cash

-increase in rates for businesses proposed

City Hall is still to clear the financial hurdle to pay workers for the current month.

At last Monday’s statutory City Council meeting, Treasurer Andrew Meredith once again addressed the council’s financial dilemma, saying that as of July 15, it had received $40M of the $120M needed to continue functioning.

“At the last meeting I also indicated that it was very difficult,” he said, while noting that without the additional funds it would be impossible for the Council to start thinking of payment for the month of July.

He also reiterated that city workers’ contributions, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) have not been paid. “There will be a time when our cheques will be returned from the bank for lack of funds,” Meredith said.

Meanwhile, Councillor Junior Garrett told the meeting that a decision made at a previous finance committee meeting, to increase rates levied on businesses from 250% to 300%, was supposed to have been presented as part of minutes to the council for approval, and then subsequent ratification by the Local Government Minister.

He explained to this newspaper that the decision was made after the committee was informed that the Minister had agreed in principle to an increase, during a recent meeting with council workers. However, the minutes of the meeting were yet to be submitted up to

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