A.P.N.U PRESS STATEMENT Georgetown, Guyana. Tues. 24th April 2012
APNU/AFC ON COMMON GROUND
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC) have decided to stand on common ground to resist the passage of the 2012 National Budget unless significant changes are implemented in the public interest.
APNU recalled that, soon after the 28th November 2011 General and Regional Elections, it called for the establishment of a Tripartite Budget Committee to collaborate on the crafting of a national budget that would be acceptable to all sides. The People’s Progressive Party/Civic Administration adopted the call as its own but never convened that Committee. In spite of talks aimed at making changes to the Estimates, the National Assembly is now preparing to conclude its examination of the unchanged Estimates of Expenditure.
APNU and AFC have made it clear that the Budget, in its present form, does not meet their demands for changes to stimulate growth, lower the cost-of-living and improve the quality of life for ordinary people.
As the National Assembly moves to conclude the examination of the 2012 National Budget Estimates, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Administration has stiffened their resistance to introducing changes recommended by the Opposition.
The main demands of the Opposition are:
· Reduction in the Value-Added Tax rate.
· Reduction in the Berbice River Bridge toll rate.
· Increase in the salaries of public servants.
· Effectively re-establishing the functioning of Public Service Collective Bargaining.
· Cease the blatant abuse of the mechanism of Contract Employees in the Public Service.
· Increase in the subvention to the University of Guyana.
· Increase in the retirement age of public servants.
· Guarantee the independence of the constitutional offices – Parliament Office; GECOM and the Service Commissions – by their removal as Budget Agencies under the Office of the President and ensure that they receive their subventions directly from the Consolidated Fund.
· Restructure GUYSUCO and GPL to make them into viable corporations.
· Restructure NICIL to bring its financial assets into the Consolidated Fund.
· Restructure GINA and NCN to make them into responsible national institutions.
· Establish the long delayed Constitutionally mandated Public Procurement Commission as a matter of urgency.
· Establish appropriate arrangements for the governance of key projects and entities, ranging from NICIL, the Amaila Falls Hydro power project and the NIS, with a view to greater transparency in decision-making, eliminating corruption and making them more responsive to public wishes.
· Devote more urgent attention and resources to the plight of the unemployed, the youth of Guyana and the depressed communities and areas.
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC) are determined to combine their strengths to ensure that changes are made to the 2012 National Budget in order to secure their legitimate demands.
A Partnership for National Unity
Office of the Leader of the Opposition
61 Cross & Hadfield Streets. Werk-en-Rust