My attention was drawn to an article in the Kaieteur News on the 19th day of May 2022, under the title “Govt. gives in to private sector demands and removes tax duties”. The article was focused on the presentation made by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Juretha Fernandes, who was described as the “Shadow Minister of Finance” during the debate on the Tax Amendment Bill, which simply removes the need for business owners to affix revenue stamps to receipts for retail purchases.
The apparent “Shadow Minister of Finance” argued that this move would only benefit the Private Sector of Guyana. This is furthest from the fact. Ms. Fernandes stated, according to the article, that “…the bill highlights the priorities of government, namely addressing the needs of the business class ahead of addressing with a sense of urgency the plight of the poor and working class citizens.”
The Member of Parliament (MP) based this on the assertion by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh, MP, that it was the Private Sector Commission (PSC) who asked for this measure to be implemented.
Editor, it is my contention that the Government of Guyana and Private Sector Commission (PSC) should be praised for this measure. Simply because anyone with common sense knows that businesses pass on their costs to the consumers. Even primary school children know this fact. Therefore, this is a measure that benefits the consumer and the working-class citizens.
The Minister of Finance even pointed out this fact during his debate as well. This fact is lost on the “Shadow Minister of Finance”.
I am amazed by the lack of understanding that permeates the National Assembly in the form of Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs). My advice to the Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) is not to oppose something simply because it is brought by the Government.
Roodi Balgobin, MBA