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Norton’s gas price subsidy is “cake-shop” economics – Jagdeo

Last Updated on Saturday, 18 June 2022, 23:45 by Writer

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday frowned on Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton’s proposed subsidy on the price of gasoline in order to ease the rising cost of living.

Mr Norton specifically recommended that the government should ensure gas prices do not increase above a determined level by compensating suppliers for any price increases where the excise tax reductions have already been exhausted to help reduce prices across a wide basket of goods, thereby easing the cost of living crisis.

But Mr. Jagdeo claimed that Mr Norton did not say how the gas subsidy would work and sought to discredit the idea. “He wants subsidy now-we removed the fifty percent (excise) tax but he can’t explain how. It is this sort of almost cake-shop kind of approach to economics that will harm us,” said Mr. Jagdeo, a Russian-trained economist and former Finance Minister.

The Vice President noted that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have cautioned Guyana against fast-paced infrastructural projects as that could overheat the economy.

The Guyana government has been absorbing the costs of electricity and water, despite the fact that the prices of fuels have escalated in recent months largely due t0 the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Opposition Leader has been repeatedly promising to remove personal income tax from the wages and salaries of some Guyanese if his People’s National Congress Reform-led coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change wins the next general and regional elections constitutionally due in 2025.