Oil money for all Guyanese must be done by law – Hughes

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 June 2024, 17:02 by Writer

Newly-elected Alliance For Change (AFC) leader, Nigel Hughes on Saturday said his party wants a law passed for all Guyanese to get direct cash transfers from oil revenues rather than cash grants that appear to be political handouts.

“I’m proposing that we abolish immediately the liberty of giving government ministers or politicians, whether the opposition or government, the right to come around and give us cash grants, handouts for flood relief. Let us give each and every citizen a direct cash grant to their account and we must put it in law,” he said shortly after he was voted into office as party leader. He said individuals must enjoy the right to decide how they must spend direct cash transfers.

Back in 2018, Working People’s Alliance (WPA) executive member, Distinguished Economics Professor Clive Thomas had first recommended that Guyanese benefit from direct cash transfers from oil revenues. Quite belatedly on the eve of the 2020 general and regional elections, then President David Granger had promised to do so if re-elected.

Promising to banish poverty, injustice and inequality in a “time of plenty”, Mr Hughes indicated that it was offensive for government ministers to go around the country handing out cash grants. He said such legislation would not allow politicians to “come around and tell you be grateful.”

Mr Hughes said Guyana was currently earning GY$65 million an hour from oil revenue, but there was no evidence that Guyana or Guyanese were benefitting from oil money. He said revenues from oil sales would jump to GY$130 million an hour in another five years.