11 minutes reading time (2251 words)

Make the welfare Of Guyanese central to government policy

I once again congratulate His Excellency the President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, and the PPP/C, on their success at the March 2020 elections. Indeed, this has been a victory for our fledgling democracy, as this election cycle has amplified the extensive weaknesses within the institutions which manage our democracy. It is only because of the basic integrity and commitment to justice and the rule of law by a handful of persons that we were able to escape the sure dysfunctionality of a lawless dictatorship. Some quick observations to strengthen our democracy include, if this is not already the case, the selection of persons to the lead positions in those institutions responsible for maintaining our democracy, the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Guyana Police Force, and the Guyana Defence Force, be similarly guided by the constitutional guidelines for selecting the Commissioner for the Guyana Elections Commission, where such persons are recommended by the opposition. This should extend to the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer of GECOM also, as it has become clear that the wrong person can create opportunities for failure where there should be none. Additionally, the composition of the Guyana Elections Commission should include two or three independent commissioners similarly appointed by the selection process outlined for the GECOM chairperson.
The installation of our new government brings with it great opportunity in a national and global environment challenged by the untimely Coronavirus pandemic, as an abundance of resources now need to be allocated to address the economic slippage and increased poverty which has unfortunately resulted from measures instituted to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. One of the unsung cliches of economics is that much, if not all, of the poverty of nations is a consequence of poor government policy.
I recently tasked myself with developing an economic policy framework for Guyana aimed at realizing the welfare of developed nations like the ABCEs. The wider perspective is naturally beyond the capacity of a single letter, but its basic nature is twofold, and is enshrined in the idea that Guyanese must derive the maximum benefit from our available natural resources, the management of which in this new global environment must be guided by international best practice. The new administration will undoubtedly wish to apply this to revise existing policy.
The overarching objective of my policy design is the realization of the welfare enjoyed by the ABCEs. This has necessitated making the welfare of Guyanese central to, the guiding force of government policy. Also critical was the commitment to maximizing economic growth, and represents another component. While increased welfare
is intrinsically tied to economic performance, policy should also be guided by Guyana’s commitment to the basic human rights of the United Nations.
Specifically, Article 23 (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
This translates into, among other things, the right to a decent standard of living qualified by the right to a livable income, and the right to quality education and health care, among other things.
Demands placed by commitments to these basic human rights fuel the drive to stimulate activity to achieve these ends.
Success in these areas necessarily involves quantifying the magnitude and demographics of the problem. The IDB estimated that around 41.2 percent or three hundred and nine thousand Guyanese men, women and children lived in poverty as at 2017.
This is based on a poverty line of US$5.50/day (G$1,100/day or G$34,650/mth).
An attempt to determine a ‘living wage’ by myself had shown that G$150,000/mth was yet insufficient for a family of four, this being just slightly more than the poverty line of G$138,600 (G$34,650 x 4) for a four-member family.
‘Insufficiency’ is a term I have adopted to describe the situation of being out of poverty, but still unable to provide the rights and necessities for a family.
The demographics of the poor and those in a state of insufficiency include affected children and other dependents, unemployed persons, persons with disabilities, many of our retired persons, and the many thousands of workers whose families cannot adequately meet their needs.
There should be a national commitment to raising the minimum wage of Guyanese to close to, or above G$150,000/mth.
While it is easy to err into thinking that this represents a tremendous financial cost or stain on government, raising salaries to this level in fact represents an investment in our people, since one of the principal benefits of such a policy beyond improved financial stability in the home is reduced worker stress and increased commitment on the job, with the larger derivative of dramatic gains in the delivery in the areas of public education and health services.
This is even as the jobs of tomorrow require a solid educational background just to compete in our rapidly advancing globalized technological environment.
My best estimates for our disabled and retirees are G$60,000 per month, and 75 percent of my proposed living wage of G$150,000/mth, or around G$112,500/mth, respectively.
It is unconscionable that many of our retired workers find themselves impoverished and dependent after giving years of their lives to develop Guyana.
Unemployment insurance is not a new idea proposed for embrace, enshrinement within our government policy framework, along with some form of financial support for our unemployed youths, many of whom have been denied the benefit of the right to the proper education necessary to compete for jobs.
This could include adequate compensation to encourage enrollment in skills training, or funding to support the development of their business ideas.
One of the great benefits of such a programme is that these youths will have less time to engage in socially destructive behaviours.
Examples of sources of funds for these proposals could be garnered by evaluating strategies in the ABCEs and other developing nations, but a quick first response is a graduated unemployment insurance tax on businesses, with a smaller component for personal incomes, these not being so acutely affected as they benefit from higher salaries.
Our new government is undoubtedly presented with immense challenges of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and severely depleted financial position left by the previous administration, but I propose this as part of the basic platform for the national dialogue on moving Guyana forward.
President Irfaan Ali has articulated a sound commitment to inclusive government and constructive national dialogue, and we can all take this opportunity to both support and engage with him and his administration as we together strive to chart the best way forward.
May we fulfill the dreams of Dr. Cheddi Jagan for a united and prosperous Guyana, and may we work to realize our dreams for tomorrow today.I once again congratulate His Excellency the President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, and the PPP/C, on their success at the March 2020 elections. Indeed, this has been a victory for our fledgling democracy, as this election cycle has amplified the extensive weaknesses within the institutions which manage our democracy. It is only because of the basic integrity and commitment to justice and the rule of law by a handful of persons that we were able to escape the sure dysfunctionality of a lawless dictatorship. Some quick observations to strengthen our democracy include, if this is not already the case, the selection of persons to the lead positions in those institutions responsible for maintaining our democracy, the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Guyana Police Force, and the Guyana Defence Force, be similarly guided by the constitutional guidelines for selecting the Commissioner for the Guyana Elections Commission, where such persons are recommended by the opposition. This should extend to the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer of GECOM also, as it has become clear that the wrong person can create opportunities for failure where there should be none. Additionally, the composition of the Guyana Elections Commission should include two or three independent commissioners similarly appointed by the selection process outlined for the GECOM chairperson.
The installation of our new government brings with it great opportunity in a national and global environment challenged by the untimely Coronavirus pandemic, as an abundance of resources now need to be allocated to address the economic slippage and increased poverty which has unfortunately resulted from measures instituted to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. One of the unsung cliches of economics is that much, if not all, of the poverty of nations is a consequence of poor government policy.
I recently tasked myself with developing an economic policy framework for Guyana aimed at realizing the welfare of developed nations like the ABCEs. The wider perspective is naturally beyond the capacity of a single letter, but its basic nature is twofold, and is enshrined in the idea that Guyanese must derive the maximum benefit from our available natural resources, the management of which in this new global environment must be guided by international best practice. The new administration will undoubtedly wish to apply this to revise existing policy.
The overarching objective of my policy design is the realization of the welfare enjoyed by the ABCEs. This has necessitated making the welfare of Guyanese central to, the guiding force of government policy. Also critical was the commitment to maximizing economic growth, and represents another component. While increased welfare
is intrinsically tied to economic performance, policy should also be guided by Guyana’s commitment to the basic human rights of the United Nations.
Specifically, Article 23 (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
This translates into, among other things, the right to a decent standard of living qualified by the right to a livable income, and the right to quality education and health care, among other things.
Demands placed by commitments to these basic human rights fuel the drive to stimulate activity to achieve these ends.
Success in these areas necessarily involves quantifying the magnitude and demographics of the problem. The IDB estimated that around 41.2 percent or three hundred and nine thousand Guyanese men, women and children lived in poverty as at 2017.
This is based on a poverty line of US$5.50/day (G$1,100/day or G$34,650/mth).
An attempt to determine a ‘living wage’ by myself had shown that G$150,000/mth was yet insufficient for a family of four, this being just slightly more than the poverty line of G$138,600 (G$34,650 x 4) for a four-member family.
‘Insufficiency’ is a term I have adopted to describe the situation of being out of poverty, but still unable to provide the rights and necessities for a family.
The demographics of the poor and those in a state of insufficiency include affected children and other dependents, unemployed persons, persons with disabilities, many of our retired persons, and the many thousands of workers whose families cannot adequately meet their needs.
There should be a national commitment to raising the minimum wage of Guyanese to close to, or above G$150,000/mth.
While it is easy to err into thinking that this represents a tremendous financial cost or stain on government, raising salaries to this level in fact represents an investment in our people, since one of the principal benefits of such a policy beyond improved financial stability in the home is reduced worker stress and increased commitment on the job, with the larger derivative of dramatic gains in the delivery in the areas of public education and health services.
This is even as the jobs of tomorrow require a solid educational background just to compete in our rapidly advancing globalized technological environment.
My best estimates for our disabled and retirees are G$60,000 per month, and 75 percent of my proposed living wage of G$150,000/mth, or around G$112,500/mth, respectively.
It is unconscionable that many of our retired workers find themselves impoverished and dependent after giving years of their lives to develop Guyana.
Unemployment insurance is not a new idea proposed for embrace, enshrinement within our government policy framework, along with some form of financial support for our unemployed youths, many of whom have been denied the benefit of the right to the proper education necessary to compete for jobs.
This could include adequate compensation to encourage enrollment in skills training, or funding to support the development of their business ideas.
One of the great benefits of such a programme is that these youths will have less time to engage in socially destructive behaviours.
Examples of sources of funds for these proposals could be garnered by evaluating strategies in the ABCEs and other developing nations, but a quick first response is a graduated unemployment insurance tax on businesses, with a smaller component for personal incomes, these not being so acutely affected as they benefit from higher salaries.
Our new government is undoubtedly presented with immense challenges of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and severely depleted financial position left by the previous administration, but I propose this as part of the basic platform for the national dialogue on moving Guyana forward.
President Irfaan Ali has articulated a sound commitment to inclusive government and constructive national dialogue, and we can all take this opportunity to both support and engage with him and his administration as we together strive to chart the best way forward.
May we fulfill the dreams of Dr. Cheddi Jagan for a united and prosperous Guyana, and may we work to realize our dreams for tomorrow today.

Guyana’s Bright Future Is Under Threat
Survival of AFC depends on its leadership –Gaskin
>

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://guyanapassion.com/

Guyana Diaspora Online Forum

We have a large database of Guyanese worldwide.  Most of our readers are in the USA, Canada, and the UK.  Our Blog and Newsletter  would not only carry  articles and videos on Guyana, but also other articles on a wide range of subjects that may be of interest to our readers in over 200 countries, many of them non-Guyanese  We hope that you like our selections.

It is estimated that over one million Guyanese, when counting their dependents, live outside of Guyana.  This exceeds the population of Guyana, which is now about 750,000.  Many left early in the 50’s and 60’s while others went with the next wave in the 70’s and 80’s.  The latest wave left over the last 20 years. This outflow of Guyanese, therefore, covers some three generations. This outflow still continues today, where over 80 % of U.G. graduates now leave after graduating.  We hope this changes, and soon.

Guyanese, like most others, try to keep their culture and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.  The problem has been that many Guyanese have not looked back, or if they did it was only fleetingly.  This means that the younger generations and those who left at an early age know very little about Guyana since many have not visited the country.  Also, if they do get information about Guyana, it is usually negative and thus the cycle of non-interest is cultivated.

This Guyana Diaspora Online Forum , along with its monthly newsletter, aims at bringing Guyanese together to support positive news, increase travel and tourism in Guyana and, in general, foster the birth of a new Guyana, which has already begun notwithstanding the negative news that grabs the headlines.  As the editor and manager of the publication, I am committed to delivering Blog entries and Newsletters that are politically balanced, and focused on the positive ideas we wish to share and foster among Guyanese.

Go to top