In July 2018, the IMF released its latest appraisal of the Guyanese economy for 2017. This set of economic data was supplemented by the first quarter 2018 Report from the Bank of Guyana. From these two official reports, there were troubling indicators especially the state of the National Debt. Yet the nation cannot find a clear set of policies from the Government of Guyana to combat our escalating National Debt.
The IMF confirmed that the Public Debt as a percentage of GDP was 52.2 per cent at the end of 2017. The Bank of Guyana statistics at the end of March 2018 confirmed that this situation is deteriorating with a ratio of 54 per cent of the GDP classified as Public Debt. The IMF projection for the end of 2018 was 57 per cent, which is now all but certain. So let us examine these numbers.
Since 2016 the Government of Guyana has recklessly expanded public sector spending by way of rudderless fiscal policy. The outcome of this irresponsible public behaviour has resulted in all the available cash that the PPP/C left in the public treasury being significantly depleted. One example is the state of public deposits at the Central Bank. When the PPP/C left office, there was a public deposit of G$10.4 billion at the Bank of Guyana. All that cash has disappeared, and the Granger Government has now incurred an overdraft at the end of June of G$53.5 billion. Even the IMF recognised the risks associated with these economic policies. The IMF in their Article IV Report said that these short-term overdrafts will have implications for macroeconomic stability and recommended that these balances be settled by issuing long-term domestic bonds.
This is a major indictment on the performance of this Government.
As a Member of Parliament, it is my responsibility to continue to use my office to bring light to these significant bread and butter issues that are adversely affecting the poor and the working class in particular. As the former Minister of Youth, the responsibility is mine to speak up for the youths of Guyana as this Granger Government continues to pawn their future. I am calling on the Minister of Finance to lay his Strategic Plan to mitigate this threat to the nation’s future. So far, all we the people have been getting from the Government is disjointed policy actions with no logical framework with key deliverables. I like many in Guyana have now lost confidence in how the economy is being managed by President David Granger and his Team. There is no time to waste on sloganeering like the “good life for all”, just get on with the job at hand.