Home Letters Actions taken to bring relief to ordinary Guyanese should be commended
There is no doubt that the rise in the cost of living is affecting all our Guyanese people.
The Government’s announcement of a number of interventions, such as the $25,000 cash grant for households in riverine and hinterland communities, is a welcome move. News reports quoted the President as saying that some $800M will be put into households in communities across the country. This is quite a significant figure, and Government must be lauded.
Secondly, the farming community suffered a triple whammy. Farmers have had to contend with the effects brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, then the massive flooding which destroyed crops and livestock; and, to make things worse, they have had to deal with the effects of a steep rise in fuel, which sent up transportation and fertiliser costs.
This rise was undoubtedly transmitted to consumers, as the prices for vegetables, other farm produce and meat went up significantly.
The announcement by the President: that Government would purchase $1B worth of fertiliser to be freely distributed to all farmers, is therefore welcome, as it would reduce production costs.
These and other interventions, though they might not see a drastic reduction in the prices of food and other items, would still provide some relief.
Guyana is not alone in terms of feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, which drove up fuel prices. At present, the Guyana Government collects zero taxes from the sale of fuel. This, along with the other relief interventions, should all be commended. Many other countries right here in the Caribbean and across the world have not seen this sort of action taken.