Adjustment of income tax, social benefits a better way to share oil wealth

Dear Editor,

Being a member of the diaspora, I must confess to general ignorance of local conditions. I was intrigued by Professor Clive Thomas’ recommendation of using part of the oil revenues to fund cash payments to Guyanese citizens resident in Guyana. In my opinion, a more equitable distribution could be achieved by income tax and social benefits adjustments.

   – Tax-free deductions could be liberalized, with citizens earning below    an established minimum not having to pay any income tax at all. This would    have the added benefit of increasing the tax rolls.

   – Funding for benefits for the less fortunate should be increased to    ensure a better standard of living.

   – Increased funding could, and should be, allocated to the education and    health care sectors, and to hinterland development.

I realize that such adjustments would probably require a new paradigm but it’s past time that Guyana step into the 21st century.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Forte

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