Removal of VAT on education is not a celebration – Dr. Persaud
APNU+ AFC’s decision to remove Value Added Tax ( VAT) from educational services should not be perceived as a grand gesture because it was the same government that imposed the burden from the inception, according to PPP Member of Parliament, Dr. Vindhya Persaud.
The introduction of VAT on private education sparked a national outrage by those affected and militant protest actions demanded its removal. The protests resulted in the government removing VAT on private school from next year.
Dr. Persaud, the Parliamentary Opposition’s spokesperson on social issues, pointed out that apart from the removal of the education tax, there is nothing of substance dedicated to supporting vulnerable groups in Guyana.
“But the government put that (education tax) in the first place so why should that be touted as something that is wonderful? It’s not! They brought hardships and now they’re coming to say we come bearing gifts to remove the hardships that you caused,” she explained. It is nothing to celebrate, she said.
Dr. Persaud pointed out that many of the vulnerable women in society are single mothers but she noted that no policy or programme was announced for this group. In fact, she said single mothers could have looked forward to owning their own homes but now there are no incentives.
“The housing programme has gone on an all-time spiral downwards,” she expressed.
Dr. Persaud also criticised th $500 increase in old age pension. “This is a slap in the face of the elderly people, it shows no care and compassion for the elderly folks in Guyana,” she stated.
The MP concluded that Budget 2018, offers nothing for women, elderly, youth or persons with disabilities.
“There are many, many gaps and it does not at all address the needs of the population,” she stated.