PRESS RELEASE People's National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia, Georgetown, Guyana. Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Robert Corbin, MP today (January 25th) met with President Jagdeo to discuss a number of matters of importance to the people of Guyana, more particularly, arrangements for Cricket World Cup 2007 (CWC) and the rise in the cost of living due to the implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT). He was accompanied by the Party’s Chairman, Mr. Winston Murray, CCH, MP.

After being briefed by the President on Guyana’s preparation for the CWC 2007, Mr. Corbin agreed to the convening of Parliament on Wednesday January 31, 2007 to facilitate the passage of Legislation related to CWC 2007 to ensure that Guyana fulfils is commitments with other CARICOM countries.

Discussions were also held on VAT, particularly in relation to those items which the People’s National Congress Reform had insisted ought to be zero rated. It should be recalled that the PNCR had argued both in and out of Parliament that several items which were essential to the basket of goods used by the working poor should be zero rated. Among those items are chicken, beef, margarine, parboiled rice, school uniform, tooth paste, soap, matches, etc.

Based on his discussions with the President Jagdeo, Mr. Corbin stated that he was satisfied that most of these items will be included on the list soon to be published by the government.

Mr. Corbin made it clear to the President that since workers had already suffered hardship for the month of January, as a result of the drastic rise in the cost of living from the botched implementation of VAT, the government should still consider his proposal made on Tuesday last (January 23rd) for a payout of one month salary to all public servants as a cost of living allowance.

Representation was made for:-
- the income tax threshold to be raised or an urgent review of the income tax system to give relief to the burden placed on the working poor, and;
- the increase in wages and salaries for public servants for 2007 to take into account the effects of the implementation of VAT.

It is expected that a revised list of these zero rated items would be released shortly.

The PNCR wishes to commend all those citizens who were bold enough to register their protest against the manner in which the VAT was being implemented and against the drastic raise in the cost of living which it brought upon the poor in the land.

People's National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
Thursday, January 25, 2007