A reduction of the value added tax (VAT), an increase in wages for nurses, teachers and police officers and a significant allocation of resources towards the Guyana Police Force are among the features that the Youth Coalition for Transformation (YCT) hopes to find in the upcoming national budget.
At a news conference on Friday, members of the YCT said that there was concern that this year’s budget will be a pro-PPP budget rather than a pro-Guyanese one.
In a press release, it was noted that YCT is expecting that the chief concerns of Guyanese, including seeing improved working and economic conditions, are addressed without new taxes.
It also expects to see sound monetary and fiscal policies and genuine efforts in local government reform especially in the allocation of public funds to the varied municipalities.
“Now is not the time for parties to be boycotting parliament and factional voting.
Now is the time to demonstrate political maturity… in doing business on behalf of Guyanese. Give us a national budget in which we can effectively manage our budgets and have a comfortable life in Guyana than resort to remittances or migration,” YCT stated.
Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh will present the National Budget on Friday.
Meanwhile, YCT on Friday also noted that so far more questions have surfaced than answers in relation to the $90 million allocation made to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) late last year.
Acting Auditor General Deodat Sharma has begun an audit of the expenditure, following questions raised by the public comments by divisional commander David Ramnarine.
Despite efforts by the Public Relations Officer of the Guyana Police Force, Ivelaw Whittaker, to explain how the money was allocated to the various divisions, YCT said it remained unconvinced.
“His attempt to rebut Assistant Police Commis-sioner David Ramnarine’s concerns, which hinge on the lack of accountability of the $90 million, was unsuccessful.
The matter became even more suspicious when Home Affairs Minister [Clement Rohee] took to the media to openly denounce Ramnarine’s remarks and made disparaging remarks towards him,” it added.
YCT is also questioning the Ministry of Home Affairs on its presentation of a Bank of Guyana cheque paid to Ramnarine after he had publicly stated that he did not receive a cent.
“YCT believes that the ministry did this in an attempt to embarrass the assistant commissioner and cover up the obvious reality which indicated that there were serious issues with respect to how business is done between the Ministry of Finance and other government ministries, particular with Minister Rohee’s Home Affairs,” a press release stated.
YCT said it sought advice from a professional accountant, who explained that the only possibility of Ramnarine’s name appearing as the payee on the cheque was if the amount was an advance to him personally to conduct business on behalf of the GPF, for which he would have to produce receipts to account for his spending.
YCT is calling on Rohee to “tell this nation the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth concerning the $90 million that was allocated for our hardworking policemen and women who risk their lives on a daily basis for all of Guyana.”
n addition to this, YCT also said that the possibility of snap elections being called by the PPP/C is a very serious development. However, it added that in the case of snap elections, it was confident that citizens would use the opportunity to ensure that the PPP/C is removed totally.
The YCT also said that the current Guyana Elections Commission Chairman Dr Steve Surujbally and the present Chief Elections Officer Gocool Boodoo should not be allowed to preside over any future election after failing to deliver an “above-board” election last November.