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…as Labour Minister lauds budget as pregnant with opportunitiesBy Gary EleazarLeader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Robert Corbin yesterday warned members of the House that where leaders of a nation fail to act on the problems that face a nation the population of that country will rise up and take their own action.He cautioned that it was not a course of action he condoned but,Maglie Milan 2018/19, were the government not to be inclusive in its decision-making and address the problems facing the nation, then the population reacting would be inevitable.“Do we want to reach the intractable situation like Zimbabwe before we are forced to the negotiation table?… Do we wait until the violence similar to that which occurred in Kenya before we are forced to invite outsiders to resolve our internal problems?… Do we want the situation of Fiji where it took several military coups before issues of division were taken seriously?”Corbin did point out that he was making no threats, but was merely seeking to illustrate the reality of the situation.He posited that the country had already experienced “what one man with a small group can do to drive terror in our society… Does it not occur to us that it is not impossible for a group with political motivations to achieve much more?”That being the case, Corbin said that the issue of shared governance should be addressed immediately, “at this stage acting in good faith that we are serious about working together”.PNCR’S RECOMMENDATIONSResponding to a call by Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee for recommendations to the government, Corbin listed what he said were his recommendations.According to Corbin there is need for a rearranging of financial priorities that is aimed at giving immediate relief to the workers of Guyana.He said that it was not too late to review a reduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) to at least eight per cent, and provide for an increase in salaries for workers to cope with the declared inflation rate of food items in the Budget.According to Corbin there needs to be serious discussions with the Guyana Trades’ Union Congress and restoration of the subvention to the Critchlow Labour College.“The subvention does not go into the pockets of GTUC Leaders. It is used to educate young people who can contribute to the needed pool of skills necessary for Guyana’s development… To penalise our youth and deny them an educational opportunity appears to me to be sacrificing them on the altar of partisan political expediency.”Corbin also called for an immediate review of the impact of the high charges for crossing the Berbice River Bridge, as well as to have the company fall under the oversight of the Public Utilities Commission.He sought to illustrate to the House that the prohibitive cost was particularly harmful to the schoolchildren who had to cross the bridge to get to school.“I was shocked when I heard this dilemma,Buy Air Max 97 Australia, and I am confident that working together we can find a resolution… Minister (Robeson) Benn,Air Max 97 Plum Chalk, we can’t dismiss in this case… We have to find a resolution.”The PNCR leader also recommended that there must be a better way to adequately assist the farmers that suffered tremendous losses during the last December and January flood.“Surely,Cheap Hockey Jerseys, the Minister (of Agriculture) cannot truly believe that a few chickens and some seeds will help those persons who responded to his Grow More Food campaign to get back into production again.”Corbin did point out that in achieving the objectives of the recommendations some programmes would have to be cut, “but that is the sacrifice that we will have to make”.He also urged the House to commit to the reform of the local government system, and ensure that the regional democratic councils are allowed to function effectively without the dictatorship of the minister acting through the appointed regional executive officers.He posited that there should be an appointment of an Integrity Commission that would enjoy the confidence of all Guyanese.According to Corbin there must also be the appointment of a public procurement commission that is truly non-partisan.Minister of Labour, Manzoor Nadir, who spoke following the PNCR leader, lauded the budget as being impregnated with opportunities and would act as a stimulus for the country’s economy.According to Nadir, it was a credit to Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh to have crafted budgets that now have the economy in its strongest position ever.As it relates to the opposition arguments that the budget was loaded with unachievable targets, Nadir said that the Budget was not rooted in one-year programmes.All the lambasting of the Skeldon Sugar factory was not warranted in that it is not a cancelled project. Rather it was simply delayed and will soon serve Guyana in good stead, he said.As it relates to the opposition calls for tax reform,Nike Air Max Sale Outlet Uk, Nadir said that the government was always in the process of assessing the taxation policy, pointing to VAT as the single biggest tax cut.According to Nadir, the windfall from VAT was a result of reduced taxes, which meant more compliance as it relates to those who pay taxes.Nadir also sought to deal with the issue of bad international ratings on governance,Manchester United Fan Shop UK, saying that Guyana will always be poorly ranked because of the amount of money spent on social services.On Corbin’s warning to the House that if leaders failed to act on problems then there could be undesired repercussions, Nadir said that such actions cause economic stagnancy or even downturns.As it relates to the review of the toll structure of the Berbice Bridge, Nadir responded by saying, “We are damned if we do it and we are damned if we don’t.”The debate continues today.
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