Basic National Income Structure – By Patrick Barker – commentary

Basic National Income Structure – By Patrick Barker – commentary

To the Editor

Before the elections were held earlier this year, Guyanese were apprised of the PPP government pilfering and misusing public funds, by some ministers and the head of the government at the time. Today some months later, we are being told that supporting evidence has been found to lay blame for those unscrupulous behaviours we were apprised of.

The query being asked is why did it take so long? How is it that a Caribbean nation could arrest a leader for corruption the very day he demitted office? How is it that those whose names were associated with corruption could still be posturing and giving the impression that they are not as guilty as perceived? The Kaieteur News for months published a list called the Heist Of Guyana depicting the questionable and illegal occurrences by members of the government.  I do agree that some evidence would have to be gathered to support the charges, but anyone in society, who is caught sending an e-mail or recorded conversations, plotting to kill, should be immediately arrested and charged. To date no one has been charged for that e-mail and recorded conversation. Could it be that there was no e-mail or recorded conversation which would support defamation of character accusations against government operatives?

In almost any society where there is a preponderance of governmental misdeeds someone would have been arrested and not allowed to be the head of the opposition. My guess is that in Guyana, as a politician, you are allowed to set your own pension, under value then purchase government land and then sell that undervalued land for an astronomical sum and not be responsible to any query of that impropriety.

The ordinary citizen in Guyana could be arrested and sent to prison for having on his/her person a gram of marijuana with a meagre street value and especially if the affordability of an attorney is lacking. However, if the said person is a prominent politician and engages in the misappropriation of government monies valued in millions, then it is more likely that person would be allowed to make national decisions, participate in government expenditures and acquisitions, but is not indicted for illegally misappropriating government funds.

It is sickening being a Guyanese to just sit and view the travesties that occurred during the past sitting of the PPP/C. I wonder how the fair minded PPP/C supporter resolves the known political contretemps and how is it personally resolved. Even though some of us are mired in racial thoughts and blinded by political preferences, we Guyanese are still a fair minded people and do not condone political unscrupulousness, especially when the actions of a few elected political operatives tend to benefit a small minority.

In a few years Guyana would be receiving oil revenues. The question that should be asked is what does Guyana plan to do with the millions in oil revenues? We could assume what the plan would have been for the past PPP government, evidenced by the excessive and closed coterie that openly existed and where government funds were made available to members of that exclusive group. Guyana: A country with a population of about 750,000, where about 80 % or more of its college graduates leave Guyana for other shores within two years, where gold mining participants are an international search and remove group without any effective reporting about the diamonds found in the gold mining venture.  There must be a more restricted mode of resource operation and reporting.

Guyana is in need of an effective plan to guide and lay out how it would invest and build those oil revenues when it comes on stream to serve its people.  Guyana is currently locked into its three productive aspirants, rice, sugar and bauxite. Sugar should have been expurgated since the end of slavery in 1835-1838. Recently, Guyana spent about US$200 million to build a sugar estate that should have been economically absolutized upon inception, instead of saddling Guyana’s economy with the expense to create the factory of a product that has been proven to be un-healthy for human consumption. Guyana will have to pay back the US$200 million sometime in the future as the price of sugar declines and future generations are left to cope with the expensive payback.

In Finland a poll commissioned by a government agency to create a basic National Income Structure (NIS) is expected to effect a plan in November 2016 that will provide $800 Euros monthly for everyone who is at the age of eighteen years and older.  The current Guyanese government should develop a plan that would affect a similar result. They should enact guidelines as to who is an eighteen year or older Guyanese. Is it someone who was born in Guyana or someone whose parents and family currently resides in Guyana, or someone who lives abroad and is part of the Guyanese Diaspora? The government must decide how the program would be administered. There would be people who would try to gain the system, by impressing that they live in Guyana when they are recently arrived persons living in Guyana. This plan should be able to counter-act the putrid effect of unemployment and supplement wages for many in Guyana who do not work or are under-employed.

The government of Guyana must ensure that the effect of (NIS) if implemented, does not encourage those who don’t live in Guyana from fraudulently benefiting from using the program, as a mean to enrich themselves knowing that they do not qualify for the accruing benefits.

Patrick Barker

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