The government’s budget for the fiscal year 2018 essentially mortgaged the future of Guyanese and the economy. Despite record level spending, the budget cuts funding for the infrastructure and agriculture sectors that are critical for creating employment opportunities, mostly for low-skilled workers. Lawmakers continued to shift billions to shore up the government bureaucracy instead of better aligning spendings with social and economic needs. There are no major changes in policy direction to steer the economy away from its current downward trajectory.
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.