City businessman, Clinton Urling lamented the absence of strategies to grow the economy and generate revenue in the 44-page APNU+AFC manifesto that was first leaked to Demerara Waves Online News Thursday night.
“One of the things we also see a lot in the manifesto- we see spend, we see spend, we see spend, spend, spend, spend but there are hardly any initiatives within the manifesto that tells you how are we going to finance all this spending,” he told a news conference.
Prior to the release of the APNU+AFC manifesto several questions were posed by e-mail to the coalition’s point man on Finance, Carl Greenidge but no response has been forthcoming. In one instance, Mr. Greenidge said he had not received the questions and they were re-sent twice.
APNU’s promises include a 20 percent hike in salaries for law enforcement personnel, a 10 percent increase in emoluments for other government employees, an undisclosed increase in teachers’ salaries and a GUY$50,000 monthly allowance to 200 youths with potential in art, music and athletics.
But Urling argued that the coalition’s manifesto merely refers to “incentives, subsidies and goodies” as well as lower the 16 percent Value Added Tax and increase the Income Tax threshold but there are no measures to generate revenue.
Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy warned against spending in the way that APNU+AFC proposes because that model has failed and destroyed Guyana previously. “That past is being resuscitated as our development model- spend and spend which means you have to borrow and borrow, which means we have to practice deficit economics and these are the very platform for disaster,” he said.