I see that British High Commissioner to Guyana Gregory Quinn has waded into the discussion on how Guyana should spend its oil money.
On the face of it High Commissioner Quinn’s suggestion to use Guyana’s Oil Money for infrastructure work does not seem like a bad idea. However, this infrastructure work that is being peddled; Can Guyanese actually do infrastructure work? Or, will it have to be done by foreign companies (which would make it spending Guyana’s oil money on imports of goods and services)?
If the latter, then Guyana’s pittance Oil Revenue (pittance, because when ExxonMobil finishes with Guyana it will be a pittance) will be spent on importing infrastructure projects. And, let’s not talk about the maintenance cost.
As for Professor Clive Thomas’ idea about direct cash transfers to individuals to alleviate poverty, this is just a vote-buying scheme, as you need to work your way out of poverty not buy your way out of poverty.
Being in poverty is not just about lacking money. It is also lacking the education and skills necessary to progress.
Saying that, direct cash transfer may work as a ONE-OFF cash injection as it does not create a dependency syndrome.
What should happen with Guyana’s Oil Money is that the private sector should become more empowered to create jobs. This may mean lowering the Personal Income Tax to 25% and the Corporation Tax to 25%.