Tag Archives: poverty in Guyana

Guyana Faces a Moral Crisis – By Rosaliene Bacchus

Three Worlds One Vision

Homeless and Invisible - GuyanaHomeless man asleep on sidewalk outside Parliament Buildings
Georgetown, Guyana – October 2014
Photo Credit: Mark Jacobs

On Monday, November 10, 2014, the Guyana government entered into shutdown mode. Facing the threat of a “no-confidence” motion from a combined opposition against his administration, President Donald Ramotar “prorogued” the 65-member National Assembly or Parliament. He invoked a provision from the 1980 Constitution, framed by the former autocratic government of President Forbes Burnham. Such a drastic move could throw the country into a state of limbo for up to six months.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, the Indo-Guyanese dominated party of Marxist Cheddi Jagan finally came to power in 1992 and has remained in power since then. Government corruption, unsolved criminal activity, police brutality, and extra-judicial killings – common during the Burnham dictatorship – continue unabated.

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Will the budget also reflect the will of the people? – Editorial

Will the budget also reflect the will of the people?  – Editorial

Stabroek staff On March 29, 2012  Editorial |

Since the introduction of the 16% Value-Added Tax (VAT), through which the government earns billions in revenue annually, the PPP/C administration has presented a series of austere budgets, which offer virtually no relief to the poorest of the poor in the country.

With its stagnating income tax threshold, 33.3% income tax, meagre 5% per annum pay hikes for public servants and ridiculously low $7,500 old age pension and $5,500 public assistance per month, it would appear that the government is running a very tight ship. Given that it touts decreased debt repayments one wonders whether the government wouldn’t turn a profit if it prepared a profit and loss account. But perhaps not, considering the wastage of resources that occurs when one project has to be redone over and over again owing to bungling.        Continue reading

When I was small, I heard this thing – Freddie Kissoon

When I was small, I heard this thing

March 18, 2012 | By |Freddie Kissoon 

When I was small, I would hear my parents and their guests in our home saying that in India you have the rich and the poor and there was nothing in between. My father and mother and their friends who came to our home were not people who were widely read. I guess they must have picked up their India remark from others.

In Guyana, one would like to think that either you are rich or you are poor, because those are the classes we see all over Guyana. As you drive around Georgetown, lower East Coast and lower East Bank, there are literally countless resplendent buildings going up or have gone up. And these structures are humongous and have expensive clothing.
As I gaze at this new Guyana, those words I heard in my home when I was ten years old ring in my ear. In Guyana, we have the wealthy strata and the working classes. There is hardly anything in between.

When you look at this new Guyana, you see that there is money in this country. You see money the quantity of which puts us in the same category as Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica. But it is a mirage. It is a gigantic deception. Guyana is dirt poor or as one of our top entrepreneurs once put it, “p-ss poor.” Alongside this decadence stand abject poverty, poor wages and salaries, laughable minimum wage standards, cruel old age pensions, a jeopardized National Insurance Scheme and dilapidated public buildings and plantains that sell for a hundred dollars (don’t contradict me on the plantains, I buy them all the time). Continue reading