The PNC-led Coalition, through its Finance Minister, has finally admitted that the economy is in declension. In fact, he used a euphemistic term to describe it, saying: “The economy did not perform as well as…had (been) predicted. Truly euphemistic terms used to explain away a dire, doomed situation.
But even this was not of his own undertaking, he only came out to admit his gross falsification of the growth figures after he was backed into a corner by stern agitation from the Opposition Leader. This has been the duplicitous nature of the Finance Ministry and this Government on a whole. They have left this nation paralysed with fear and uncertainty. The deceptive mode in which Government has grooved itself into since it took office is appalling.
Everything the Finance Minister has projected as growth and development has plummeted. All the income-generating sectors have seen massive decline, you name it and we can safely attach “failed” on its final report card. In forestry, mining, rice, construction and sugar, these have seen a dramatic downturn.
Strangely enough, all the massive layoffs and closure of sugar factories, a major stop to the bleeding of the economy, have been of little help where economic recovery is concerned. It was our belief that this sector would have at least seen a break-even position, but this is not to be, the economy continues to slide.
Like the proverbial whipping boy, the sugar industry (according to Jordan) continues to haemorrhage the national treasury…very interesting propaganda!
Another income-generating machine has been the heavy-handed tax measures implemented by this Government. Everything that could be taxed was taxed; from the international export traders to the humble donkey cart operator, all are netted in by Jordan’s huge tax network. Yet, amidst all of this income, the country limps along in hopeless failure. Why?
A quick glance at the performance of the economy would reveal that our last known successful growth year was 2013, when we recorded 5.2% growth. The following year, 2014, we recorded 3.3%; in 2015, we recorded 3.2%; in 2016, we recorded 3.3%; and for 2017, we are getting news of a 2.1% growth rate and falling fast.
Please note that, from the last year of growth, the economy was in the hands of the PNC-led Opposition. With their one-seat majority, they tied the hands of the Ramotar Administration, even voting down his budget, thus putting his administration in a position of being considered a “failed state,” where nothing could have been done by way of spending or use of the national treasury. Guyana’s economy was prime property up for grabs, and plunder the incoming administration did with gusto!
When the coalition took over the economy, they had the total use of all monies left in the treasury. They inherited a growing economy as well as a healthy treasury.
There should be no excuses coming from their lips now as regards the means to fund development, theirs was a fortune inheritance. That is evidenced from the fact that they raised their salaries and emoluments by 50%. Where did that money come from? It did not gratuitously fall from heaven, that fat pay rise came from a treasury brimful of funds left by the outgoing PPP/C Administration.
This clean bill of health that the treasury was afforded came from prudent management by the astute technocrat Dr Ashni Singh.
From the raping of the treasury to the naked aggression in the streets, all are telltale results of a doomed country