While this is commendable, it is still leading to loss of income, thus a fall in purchasing power and less business.
The impact has forced business people to import less. In some cases, their importation has fallen by 60% or more. This means that collection of customs duties will not meet its optimum.
In their seemingly desperate grab for cash, this regime is also contributing to the general slowdown by way of poor decisions.
It appears that the APNU+AFC regime see all business people as crooks. That is why they are forcing a one hundred percent examination of containers. This is causing great delays in processing, and a loss of income to the Government, the business community, and workers.
Added to that are the impact of the more than two hundred tax measures that have been introduced. These are acting as a brake to businesses, and reducing disposable income of employees.
Even pensioners have seen their purchasing power falling, as the concessions which they enjoyed from the PPP/C Administration, including assistance with electricity and water bills, have been removed. Added to that, all these things attract taxes, mainly value added taxes. Moreover, this regime has put value added tax on all the basic items that the PPP/C Administration had exempted when it introduced Vat Added Tax (VAT). Their real pension has therefore been effectively reduced.
In the meantime, the regime APNU+AFC seem unable to come up with any plans or projects that would create new employment.
The only ideas that have emerged is the President telling the people to make cook-up rice, pepper-sauce, plantain chips, etc. With the best intentions, this would not solve anything!
While the regime’s policies have led to a great slowdown, they continue to build a huge bureaucracy that is consuming a much larger part of our GDP. The cost of Government has gone up sharply, by many times.
The elite are enjoying huge salaries, and quite a bit is spent on image. Repainting buildings in green, buying very expensive vehicles, big convoys, etc, are all prestige things that absorb resources instead of creating wealth.
In addition to the bulging bureaucracy is the massive corruption from top to bottom. The Drug Bond is costing our hard-pressed taxpayers a massive twelve and a half million dollars per month; the sole-sourcing of goods, mainly drugs, has sent up Government expenses hugely, while shortages are once more making their appearance. This can be seen at hospitals and clinics throughout the country.
The settling of cases is also costing billions of dollars, suspicions have been raised regarding this practice.
The fact that the regime hid from the public the US$18 million collected as a signing bonus speaks volume. They did not put the money in the Consolidated Fund, nor did they place it in the accounts of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, where legitimately it could be placed. Instead, it was placed in a secret bank account, no doubt to be deliberately misused.
The only reason that the disastrous policies of the regime have not had their full impact is because of the very healthy financial and economic situation that the PPP/C Administration had left.
Our country had the highest reserves in its history, built up by the PPP/C. The economy was resilient.
That could be seen by the fact that in the face of the worst international economic and financial crises in living memory, the PPP/C kept the economy growing by 4.5% to 5% per annum.
Moreover, at a time when the APNU and AFC, enjoying a one-seat majority in Parliament, did everything to sabotage the efforts of the PPP/C Administration, the economy continued to grow. Our people had a much better life.
Those two parties did everything to sabotage progress while in Opposition. In Government, they have failed miserably.
The outgoing year will be remembered for the rapid deterioration in our economy and social life.