Almost one year ago to the day I said, ‘I believe that every citizen in Guyana should have direct access to a proportion of the revenues flowing from our oil and gas resources. … Therefore, I (also) believe that from the inception a reasonable percent of the oil/gas revenue should be permanently set aside as direct cash grants to the most vulnerable but gradually, as revenue increases, reaching the level of a UBI (an amount sufficient to secure basic needs as a permanent earnings floor no one could fall beneath) for all Guyanese’ (A universal basic income for all Guyanese. SN: 30/08/2017).
Of course, it is impossible to make such a suggestion in any country and not elicit conflicting opinions such as we have recently witnessed since Professor Clive Thomas and the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) made a similar proposal. The noises we hear from the opposing sides are largely rooted in our ideological positions, but in the above article, I said sufficient to indicate that UBI-type proposals have been long in the making and are coming from serious people of varying ideological persuasions who have given the issue much thought. Nevertheless, in the political struggle for the public purse to implement UBI, one’s stance has to be, philosophically and empirically, persistently defended…..