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A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) Shadow Minister of Finance Carl Greenidge has described the President Donald Ramotar’s boast that the economy grew by 25 percent, as far from the truth and an insult to the intelligence of the citizenry.He was referring to statements made by the head of state in his new year’s address to the nation.President Donald Ramotar“Ramotar says these things not because he is daft, but because he honestly feels as though the electorate is foolish enough to swallow it without question,Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit Womens,” he added.Ramotar had declared that 2014 saw Guyana growing economically for the ninth successive year. This, the President had said is the longest period of continuous economic growth in the country’s recent history.“It is even more noteworthy that this growth was achieved in the most testing of circumstances.  Over just the two and a half years to mid-year 2014, the size of our economy has increased by 25 percent to $650 billion, our country has attracted more than US$629 million in foreign direct investment, credit to the private sector has grown by 41.5 percent to $190.5 billion, and total deposits in the commercial banks has grown by 22.1 percent to $334.6 billion,” he had added.Carl Greenidge, APNU Shadow Minister of FinanceHowever,Cheap Jerseys Paypal, Greenidge disagreed stating that if national income has increased at anything like the rate Ramotar claims, then, “how can he stomach the increases in the emoluments and pension which the former President Bharrat Jagdeo has paid himself over that period and he will soon enjoy, meanwhile he only paid public servants a measly 10 percent. Such lopsided sharing of the benefits of growth explains why Plastic City and Angoys Avenue are growing faster than the rate of growth of the real economy.”The APNU Shadow Finance Minister said that growth is meaningless if it does not enhance or improve the welfare and wellbeing of citizens. With all this growth and construction taking place as Ramotar claims,China Jerseys, Greenidge said that the PPP Government is unable to make meaningful contributions to health projects that are in critical need of funding.He then alluded to the shocking news of maternal deaths involving young mothers and their babies in the process of child birth, which was featured recently in the newspapers. Yet, he said, the President speaks glowingly of the health sector.Greenidge said that the biggest burdens in the budgets of poor households are housing,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, food, transport and medical bills.He said that gas prices feature large in most of these. Yet, when international petroleum prices have fallen from the 2011 peaks of $120-140 to as low as $68 a barrel, the Government wants to continue to pressure the nation.“I strongly suspect that this is so because they want to continue raking in the big dollars to spend money to pay Jagdeo’s unlimited benefits…It is the poor who carry that burden. But the extra money is not spent on better medical facilities but rather on fuelling the lives of Jagdeo’s family and friends…But Ramotar says the economy has grown by 25 percent. Who and where are ‘all the people’ he claims have benefitted by that much? Even processed food and takeaways attract VAT. But Chinese shops and a few others manage to be exempt from taxes. Only last week business mogul Sattaur Gafoor pointed out the consequences of that situation for the profits of his firm Gafsons Industries Limited. Who is the President looking at?” Greenidge questioned.The former finance minister then mentioned that Ramotar spoke about the country making commendable strides despite some important revenue earners like gold,Cheap Jerseys, sugar and rice were faced with many difficulties.Greenidge however opined that many of the problems facing the local industries have been compounded by the corrupt practices of the Government. The politician said that the country has wasted money on several major investments such as the Skeldon Sugar factory which is currently performing poorly.The financial point man said that the economy today is far less diversified than it was 30 years ago when there was also a manufacturing sector outside of sugar processing. He said that the apparent growth is more a product of the drug trade and money laundering than of any fundamental improvement in the structure of the economy.Ramotar had also touched on the housing sector, pointing to new communities that have emerged and tens of thousands of Guyanese families that have realized their dreams of home ownership.Greenidge then posited “Guyana is the only country in the world where more houses are being built than the number of families in the country. With current unemployment levels in excess of 22 percent and with a minimum wage of less than $50,000 month, house lots starting at $750,000 and $1M per lot with no infrastructure to speak of, is a joke.”Greenidge emphasized that a real programme needs to move beyond house lot distribution. Although mortgage relief is available to some of the better off, he said that a young teacher on their salary alone would be unable to build a house on the $1M house lot even after 10 years of work.He said that in a country where land is abundant,Cheap NFL Jerseys, such land prices are astonishing especially since the PPP makes land available to its foreign cronies from China and the Caribbean in particular, free of charge or at pepper corn prices.The APNU Parliamentarian said that the government is more concerned with helping its cronies get rich by giving them state lands cheaply and licensing them to parcel out and sell the land to the poor at exorbitant prices.The President had also stated that the nation is improving and it is advancing in the social sector. Greenidge found this to be an unfortunate statement and one that paints a picture that is far from the truth.“When you seriously reflect on the street children, the beggars, the mentally ill and destitute, certain players in the various sectors responsible for contributing to Guyana generating one of the highest rates of corruption in the region, then take into account the high rates of suicides and migration of educated citizens, it really is an entirely different picture from that marvelous fairy tale painted by Ramotar,” Greenidge concluded.
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