The leader of the opposition's statement aired on the anti-government TV stations is filled with distortions and outright fabrications. Here are some of the facts from the discussions held between the Government and the opposition leader:
1. Reduction in VAT: GOG did not refuse to reduce VAT. But requested that it should be based on analysis to be done by Tax Review Committee. GOG also proposed to extend the list of 0 rated items and to use 1% of VAT revenue to fund projects for depressed communities. APNU and AFC wouldn’t go out and say this. Instead they say the Government dismissed their concern.
2. Reduction in Berbice Bridge Toll: The Government pointed out that this is a Private Investment and it is one of the investments where the NIS and NBS are getting the highest rate of returns and that the Government cannot simply asked these companies to cut their rate of returns. The GOG and NOT the Opposition initiated the re-introduction of the Ferry for the benefit of workers and school children. They then asked that the GOG buy over the Bridge and operate it (nationalization). The President pointed out that that would not be the most feasible thing to do since the project is a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) project where the provate sector invested with the expectation of a return that simply shouldn’t be taken away now and that after 20 years the Government would OWN the bridge. From an economic and developmental perspective, the GOG’s approach is the most sensible thing to do
3. Increased Subvention for UG: Without fully understanding the amounts being allocated to UG the opposition requested an increase in subvention. Can someone please inform Mr. Granger and company that in addition to the subvention, the UG gets $450 million for student loan and there is a $US10 million project for the improvement in Science and Technology that is commencing in 2012.
4. Linden Electricity: Granger skillfully did not mention this in his statement. But here it is: at the discussion it was Granger who proposed a 50% of what customers in other parts of the country are paying. Not sure that she heard him correctly, Presidential Advisor Ms. Tiexeira asked him if he was sure about the 50% and not 25% or 30%. Yet when the APNU supporters pressured them, Mr. Granger reneged completely and claimed he did not agree to an increase. It was the GOG that proposed to put more funding into the LEN programme and to have a programme similar to WOW in Linden.