Former President Donald Ramotar New Year’s Message
I wish to extend best wishes to all Guyanese for the New Year 2017.
The year 2016 was indeed a very challenging one for the Guyanese people. The gains that were made by our country during the various terms that the PPP/C government was in office are being eroded by the PNC-led APNU+AFC regime.
These reversals will begin to impact heavily on the quality of life of all Guyanese in 2017. The addition of 14% VAT on essential food items (which were zero-rated by the PPP/C administration) will certainly impact on the cost of living.
VAT charges on water and elec- tricity bills are also going to impact heavily on ordinary Guyanese people and on businesses.
The adding of VAT on machinery and equipment in the agriculture and mining sectors will increase the cost of production, resulting in a negative impact on competitiveness with other businesses.
These can lead to more dismissals of our workers. During 2016, hundreds of persons lost their jobs in the sugar and forestry sectors and in 2017, more persons will be dismissed.
With no policy being implemented by the regime to assist these industries, we can expect these problems to grow.
All sections of our society must express their views publicly and oppose the anti-worker, anti-business and generally anti- people budget measures by this regime in the coming year.
We must together defend our democracy, struggle to maintain openness and free speech in Guyana.
These are essential to social and economic progress in our country.
While we take some time off to welcome the new year, let us resolve to work together towards a better and safer Guyana.
Happy New year to the Guyanese nation!!