Cash handout debate exposes political hacks

first_imgDear Editor,Not long after coming to office, the APNU+AFC coalition Government disbanded the $10,000 school grant initiative on the grounds that it was “fiscally unsustainable” and could be used as an “electioneering gimmick”.Fast-track to August 1, 2018 and President David Granger is quoted in a speech urging Guyanese not to be “slothful”, to desist from seeking “raises”, and to get prepared for the oil economy.A few days later, Economist Professor Clive Thomas suggested that every household in Guyana should benefit from an annual cash payout when oil revenue begins to flow. Enter the flip-floppers and party hacks.Those who agreed that the PPP-Government school grant initiative was being used as an electioneering gimmick now think a potential coalition Government oil payout initiative is the best thing since sliced bread. Those who firmly agreed with the President that the culture of ‘always wanting a raise’ was counterproductive now say handouts from oil revenue is a brilliant idea.One only has to look across at Venezuela to see how the creation of a welfare state killed productivity and contributed to soaring inflation. Closer to home, the Amerindian community in Guyana has been the recipient of substantial State grants and support. One cannot conceivably say that our Amerindian brothers and sisters are better off as a result.Most importantly, we lack the basic systems to equitably disburse any such funds. So it was in the case of the school grant, and so it remains. We lack the political integrity required to not use such a scheme to buy votes. So it was before, and so it remains. To believe otherwise points to madness.It is time that common sense and good judgment are used in serious debates on issues with national implications. Those who appeal to the emotions and weaknesses of the poor with tactful comments on social media and elsewhere, in an attempt to sell the goodness of a welfare state, are in fact enemies of the poor. They serve political outfits, and operate at the bidding of their masters.Guyanese people need to wake up before it is too late. Demand accountability and full transparency in management of the oil revenue. Demand investments in infrastructure, education and social services. R10eject attempts for you to be used as political footballs. Reject overnight schemes designed to keep you in poverty and subservient to the state. Wake up!Sincerely,Patrick DavisConcerned Guyaneselast_img read more