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‘We’ve kept our promises’

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‘We’ve kept our promises’

Seated from left are: Chairman of the Guyana Youth and Student Movement (GYSM) youth arm, Ryan Belgrave; Vice-Chairman of the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) and Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton and Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan …Min. Jordan talks up gov’t achievements in raising salaries, lowering VAT MINISTER of Finance, Winston Jordan, has stated that most of the promises made to citizens by the coalition government have been fulfilled, resulting in an improved way of life.

Pedro Loyo

He joined Vice Chairman of the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) and Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton, at the party’s press conference on Friday, where the two spoke to the positive changes made over just a few years

First talking on the economy, Minster Jordan said that the coalition promised that from the “suffering with starvation wages under the PPP [People’s Progressive Party]”, it would increase the wages of public servants. He said that in just three years, the minimum wage was increased by nearly 52 per cent from $39,570 in 2015 to $64,000 in 2018 when, in comparison, it took the PPP eight years to achieve a similar percentage from 2006 to 2015. Meanwhile, he noted increases to old age pension from a “paltry sum” of $13,125 under the PPP to over $20,000 today. Added to this, as promised, there was a reduction of the Berbice Bridge toll in 2016 from $2200 to $1900 for passenger cars and buses along with a 10 percent reduction for all other classes of vehicles

Jordan reported that this helps to save the average citizen money while it drives down the cost of goods for consumers. Also impacted over the years were the creation of some 15,000 jobs by the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-INVEST) programme and a reduction of the PPP-imposed VAT from 16 per cent to 14 per cent

COMMUNITIES IMPACTED Touching on the non-financial ways in which Guyanese have benefitted, the Finance Minister pointed out that the Police Force is better trained and equipped to fight crime; piracy is now “a thing of the past” and decency and cleanliness have been restored to the capital city

Other areas he noted were the promised establishment of Passport Offices in Berbice, Linden and Essequibo; the implementation of solar and other renewable forms of energy; increased access to reliable potable water for the first time for many residents; the establishment of the four new capital towns decentralising public service to residents and the almost completed $1.2 Billion East Bank Berbice road project. “As a Coalition we made several promises to the people of Guyana and we have kept those promises,” Jordan said

“Whilst the PPP is keen to talk down Guyana and plays its dishonest tricks to try and get their way back into power, my party and the coalition have been getting on with moving Guyana forward.”

For his part Dr Norton stated that Guyana’s economy is now more resilient under the leadership of President David Granger while unity is bringing Guyanese people together. The Social Cohesion Minister said that the coalition remains consistent in its crack down on serious crime, its transformation of the education and healthcare systems and its infrastructural works

He stated that communities across Guyana which previously experienced flooding are now better off due to systematic drainage and irrigation works while roads once impassable have been paved

With these words he addressed all Guyanese: “In 2015, the Guyanese people rejected the PPP after 23 year of rule, during which time they left Guyana to crumble. Since that time the PPP have engaged in a strategy of dishonesty, non-cooperation and outright sabotage of the APNU+AFC government. The reason for this course of action by the PPP, led by its dishonest Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali is simple: the PPP is trapped in the politics of the past. The PPP still believes in ‘one-party’ government, even though over four decades of that style of governance shows that it is the wrong model for Guyana. They are desperate to grab power back by whatever means they can, and we need to be on guard to ensure that the constitution of Guyana is upheld and that we have fair and credible elections.”