Government becoming more parasitic
population of the regime has not only increased greatly but many of the big boys/girls are demanding new vehicles that are customer-fitted.
This process is not a one off. It is happening continuously.
Recently, Dr. Rupert Roopnarine was removed as the Minister of Education. He is now given a new Ministry and it must be staffed and provided with vehicles and other amenities all of which are costs to the taxpayers.
Moreover, the regime is expressing some lack of confidence in the competence of the new substantial Minister of Education and her technical staff. That is why they are creating another department in the Ministry of the Presidency to manage the Minister and the Ministry of Education.
At the same time, the amount of Advisors shot up greatly. The President has an army of Advisors. That is not all.
Almost every Minister has one or many more Advisors. The Attorney General alone has four such persons. Ministers also have Legal Advisors and Public Relations Advisors. Added to this is how the government functions. They are using Commissions of Inquiry a lot. Many of these are really to give jobs to their friends for they prove to be useless. The APNU regime itself often ignores the recommen- dations coming out of these Commissions of Inquiry.
An example that immediately comes to mind is the Commission of Inquiry that was established to look at Guysuco. The Regime spent more than eighty million dollars on this exercise and their ignored the recommendations.
The reports of many of the Commissions of Inquiry are yet to be examined by the public. This is a callous use and misuse of money. This is taxpayers money.It is also apposite to note that costs have gone up astronomically in the public corporation and the semi-autonomous agencies.
Board of Directors fees have gone through the roof. Those are non-executive directors but are collecting fees equivalent to senior personnel salaries. These bodies are being raped as chairpersons have to have executive vehicles and be provided with huge perks.
It is astonishing to see what is going on. Without doubt this bureaucratic capitalist elite is growing greatly at the expense of the productive workers of our country.
It is instructive to note that while this mad, seemingly unconcerned spending is taking place, the regime has done very little to improve income generation. Indeed, what this regime is doing is sucking resources from the productive sector to bolster the elite.
In the first place, many of the benefits that the people enjoyed under the PPP/C administration are being taken away to finance the elite’s new lifestyle. Value Added Tax has been added on education materials, school fees, medicines and medical equipment. The essential items that people use everyday, foodstuff, etc. are now attracting VAT. VAT is also now placed on electricity and water. Pensioners who used to benefit from some amount of free electricity and water charges have found that those concessions have been removed.
Very early, the regime withdrew the subsidy that the PPP/C government was giving to parents who had children in schools - The $10,000 Because We Care scheme. That was to encourage parents to keep their children in school. It was one of the reasons that Guyana has the lowest drop-out rate in the region. The end of the year bonuses that were given to personnel in the security forces have also been removed.All of this money is now going to finance the consumption of the elite that this government has created.
But this is not all. The regime has instituted some two hundred new tax measures on the population, including on businesses. These taxes are having a debilitating effect on economic life of the country. The taxes are also sucking up money from the population. Imagine persons with kitchen gardens are being pressed to pay taxes. People with more than two dogs are targeted. Many small self-employed persons with a roadside Bar-B-Que or other small enterprises are now having to pay taxes. Many of these persons are single parents hustling to put food on the table.
As a result, the purchasing power of the population has drastically fallen. This is having a serious impact on the commercial sector. These are leading to more and more dismissal of workers. Many workers are begging to accept lower wages in order to keep their jobs.
The new elite in government in just about two years have become very wealthy, and are oblivious of the harm their actions are causing. They keep shouting slogans about ‘green economy’ and prosperity without understanding much of what they are mouthing.
The situation is dire and it is getting worse.
This regime, like a previous PNC regime, has taken a strong and healthy economy and is dragging it into the mire.
Things would not get better because the character of this regime. They are in politics to get rich and in their own words to live ‘the good life’.