Finance Minister Winston Jordan was quoted as saying that “there will be no new taxes” in the 2018 Budget. Now, that pronouncement was made with the expressed intention to placate the poor and dispossessed in our midst. Benign at best and diversionary as the Finance Minister continues on that eel-like, slippery, evasive slope when it comes to the management of the nation’s finances. Of course, Mr Jordan can afford the luxury of an excuse that there would not be any new taxes, because the truth of the matter is, there is nothing more to be taxed. Over two plus years in office and more than 200 taxes that is record breaking by any standard. One hundred taxes for each year.
At least the budget would be balanced, there is no doubt about that, with so many taxes floating around, the treasury would be inundated with what I call “cry money” from those monies squeezed out of a tax-fatigued nation. But at the end of the day would the lives of the Guyanese people be any better? I hasten to give a resounding no! What the Minister should be talking about is a reduction in taxes, the creation of income-generated investment, while giving the nation hope on job security. There is no guarantee of the lessening of the hardships Guyanese face as industries are arbitrarily shut down by this Government and more and more persons join the ranks of the jobless. How on earth can those families sustain themselves?