GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, December 6, 2016
The measures of the 2017 National Budget seek to instill the importance of paying taxes and encourage conservation.
Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman and Minister with responsibility for Labour in the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott commended the Finance Minister for his work on the National Budget while on the Budget in Focus television programme aired on the National Communications Network (NCN), today.
Minister Scott called the budget “historic” and said it “aims at a philosophy” that encourages people to pay their taxes. “This budget is one that has never happened before…paying taxes is something that is good…you can see for the first time in a long time…the benefit of the taxes not only in your pocket but in the society as a whole,” Minister Scott said in support of the budget.
Minister Trotman meanwhile noted that Guyana’s economy managed to grow by 2.6percent despite World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections for Latin America and the Caribbean being less.
However, the Minister said he accepted that, “there are things in the budget we are hoping to see as a populace that were not included, but at the same time, it is the best we could have done in the circumstances.”
Minister Trotman reminded that the budget seeks to steer the country down the path of the green economy.
“I think we’re missing this point. We have committed ourselves to going on a green pathway that means that as we delink our dependence on fossil fuels, and as we start to see water as a sacred and scarce resource, we need to conserve it,” Minister Trotman said.
To spur economic growth budget 2017 has introduced several measures that will see the reduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 16 to 14 percent, increased prices for some government services and licences, along with the addition of VAT to water and light in excess of $1,500 and $10,000 a month respectively, increased disposable income and old age pension among others.
“We’re moving towards a position where our society has to be organised in such a way that each citizen becomes a responsible person who understands the meaning of taxation and he also can measure what he gets in return,” Minister Scott said in defence of the measures.
By Tiffny Rhodius