Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin has described the $300.7 Billion budget for 2019 as
“progressive, responsible and one that showcases Government’s commitment to improving the
lives of all Guyanese”. Minister Gaskin made the comment while speaking with the media shortly
after the four-hour budget presentation by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, in Parliament
earlier today. He lauded the initiative to increase the income tax threshold, describing the move as
one that will have its greatest impact on persons on the lower end of the salary scale. “It will
translate to more disposable income in the hands of all taxpayers,” he emphasised.
The Minister also applauded the raising of the threshold for filing Property Tax Returns, along
with the reduced rates, pointing out that this means fewer people will now be required to file
returns. He noted that this would benefit mostly younger, middle-income persons, by removing
what he said, has always been a burdensome requirement.
Minister Gaskin, who has responsibility for tourism, said he was also heartened by the decision to
afford Region 10, special consideration for tax credits for profits and investments in tourism.
Region 10 now joins regions 1, 7, 8 and 9, which are already benefitting from these incentives.
Budget 2019 proposes to allow exporters to the Caricom area to benefit from allowances
previously granted only to extra-regional exports, a move the Minister welcomes. The budget also
contains initiatives for companies utilising green technology as well as reduced taxes for small
businesses and manufacturers.
Minister Gaskin expressed satisfaction with the $2.61 billion allocation to his Ministry, which
represents a 19 per cent increase over the 2018 figure. “The reality is that all of the initiatives and
programmes put forward by the various Ministries are important and are geared towards the
development of our country, but I don’t believe at any point, we can satisfy everyone. What I can
assure you, is that the Ministry of Business will make optimal use of the allocated funds in a way
that will ultimately benefit the Guyanese people,” he stressed.