Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, said that the current APNU/AFC administration spends $1.2B more than the PPP/C every year, on travel expenses alone. He made this statement during his press conference at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition.
At this press conference, Jagdeo told Kaieteur News that the government spends $732M more than the PPP/C on local travel and subsistence, and another $432M more on “other transport travel and postage.”
This amounts to $1.2B on local transport and travel.
The Leader of the Opposition said that this is symptomatic of a wider issue of extravagant spending that is being done by this administration.
Jagdeo said that Government ministers take multiple trips to the interior region, trips which he believes to be unnecessary. He said that the government spends too much and would not have had problems finding finances to pay the sugar workers’ severance and the increases demanded by Guyana Teachers’ Union if they were more miserly.
The Government of Guyana has caught flack before for its spending when Federation of Independent Trade Unions (FITUG) cited data from the Guyana Budget and Policy Institute in relation to the 2018 budget.
It had stated that the government has collected $17B in new taxes, and has expended 70% of those new funds to shore up its bureaucracy. This 70% accounted for $12B. The total costs to run the government, as stated by the report, was $54B; a steep 29% increase from the previous budget.
These costs amounted to the second largest share of the budget. The report had further stated that government spending did not do enough to align public investments with social and economic needs.
The government had initially claimed that the demands made by teachers would cost $4B; a figure that Jagdeo believes could have been comfortably managed using funds from the billions of dollars in new taxes, had the government spent, cost-effectively.
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