The government should use a portion of oil revenues to fund an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program to help lift families out of poverty and put them on a path to prosperity. It also incentivizes work as opposed to discouraging it resulting in greater labour market activities and improvement in social and economic well-being. The EITC is one of the most successful anti-poverty reduction policies and a better option than direct cash transfers. In addition to lifting poor and low-income families out of poverty, the EITC has been successful in growing the tax base and reign in informal activities in the formal economy.
Our country is diverse, blessed with an abundance of natural resources, strategically located, and full of untapped potentials. Yet, far too many hard working Guyanese live in poverty, cannot afford to send their children to school or invest in their future, have low-paying jobs, and are less hopeful about ever escaping the vicious cycle of poverty. Through our analyses of employment, incomes, and overall economic security, the Budget and Policy Institute seeks to highlight policies or a lack thereof that may be contributing to such poor outcomes and potential policy approaches for helping low- and middle-income Guyanese to succeed.