News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Jan. 16, 2024: The Guyana government on Monday Jan. 15th, unveiled its largest ever fiscal budget to date – GUY$1.146 trillion or US 5.84 billion, allocating significant funds for the further development of sectors such as energy, agriculture, health, and infrastructure. Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, in his fifth fiscal package presentation, emphasized that the budget is 46 percent larger than the previous one.
Here’s a summary of the Guyana Budget 2024.
Income Tax Threshold Raised: Monthly income tax threshold increased to $100,000, raising annual Personal Allowance to $1,200,000.
Life and Medical Insurance Deductions: Taxpayers can now deduct premiums for life and medical insurance up to 10% of their income or $50,000 monthly, promoting insurance coverage.
Duty and VAT Removal: Sports equipment, essential cell phone accessories, and firefighting equipment will have Duty and VAT removed to enhance access.
Fuel Cost Control: Zero percent excise tax on petroleum products will be maintained to mitigate rising fuel prices.
Reduced Freight Charges: Adjusted import freight charges to pre-pandemic levels extended for 12 months from January 2024.
Pension and Assistance Increases: Old Age Pension, Public Assistance, Minimum Pension, Survivor’s Pension, and Invalidity Pension all set to increase in 2024.
University Support: Elimination of outstanding loans for University of Guyana graduates employed or self-employed in Guyana after graduation.
Grants and Student Support: One-off grants for those near the old age pension qualification, increased student grants, and uniform voucher allowances.
Cost of Living Measures: $7 billion allocated for measures to aid food production and mitigate price increases.
Part-Time Job Expansion: Expansion of the Part-Time Job Programme, allowing one person per household to work in public offices.
Small Business Support: Collaboration with banks to lower interest rates on loans up to $5 million to support small businesses.
Eye Care and Health Services: Vouchers for eye tests and spectacles for school children and pensioners, as well as support for cervical cancer testing.
These measures aim to boost various sectors and enhance the well-being of citizens in the coming year, the minister stressed.