Guyana: US$5,000 per household proposed

GUYANA CHRONICLE) – A RECOMMENDATION has been made for the Government of Guyana, when it starts production and receives its net inflow of revenue, to make cash transfers annually to every household in the country.

“I believe that some portion of the net cash flow from oil should be dedicated to be given as cash transfers to every single household in this country.

Whether it is US$5000 per year or whatever it works out at, we can put the figure together – there must be a mechanism in place to ensure every single household and by extension every single person would see the benefits of oil and gas in terms of cash or cheque received in their accounts,” said economist Professor Clive Thomas.

Professor Thomas was at the time addressing residents of Buxton, East Coast Demerara and other stakeholders at the Eusi Kwayana Emancipation Symposium, held at the Friendship Primary School. Professor Thomas posited that there can be no better spender of resources than a person in need.

“Nobody can tell you how to spend money better than you can yourself. As an expression to that person, I believe there must be developed a cash-transfer programme of some significance that makes sure that when all is said and done, out of the national pie, a certain permitted amount of resources are transferred to the masses.

That is an absolute minimum of what I was saying, the national debate is removing that further and further from reality,” he told those gathered at the forum organised by the Buxton First of August Movement and themed, “The Coming Oil and Gas Economy: Prospects for Empowering the Poor and Revitalizing the Village Economy.”

Professor Thomas, who was among three panellists, Attorney Nigel Hughes and Project Officer, Ministry of Natural Resources, Mariscia Charles, made it clear that despite the views of some, he does not believe giving cash transfers to persons “is a waste of resources”.

He noted that such a recommendation would be frowned upon by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.