Re­moval of VAT on ed­u­ca­tion is not a cel­e­bra­tion – Dr. Per­saud

Weekend Mirror - - CHILDREN’S CORNER -


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.

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