A decade ago, we laughed and marvelled that a loaf of bread cost maybe something like Guy$200. It was a big joke all through the Caribbean how much Guyanese citizens had to pay for basic necessities.
Well now, the joke seems to be on us. A loaf of bread will now cost something like $30, imagine that.
A basic staple like flour that goes into just about every single thing we eat is now out of the reach of citizens. It used to be that you didn’t live by bread alone, but now, you will have to leave bread alone.
Just this week alone, a chicken was almost $100 and that’s in TT$, not Guyanese or pesos. Maybe we have to catch lizards and pigeons, doves and blackbirds for meat substitute, since we all say, we will eat less chicken, but eventually chicken out when the smell of Royal Castle hits us.
In some eastern countries, they eat dogs just like we eat horses. Certainly the Government will be happy to see how innovative a people can be when confronted by sky-high prices.
Only recently, there was a stampede of citizens for menial jobs aboard cruise liners and the speculation was that this was a free ride out of Trinidad and Tobago.
This was the case in Guyana not a decade ago, when hundreds fled to Trinidad and Tobago. Now we are just as bad.
What citizens cannot afford, they will steal. I expect that in the near future when bandits come to rob, they will be stealing rum, cigarettes and bread, since a loaf of bread now costs more than a pack of cigarettes, so even if they sell back the bread underground, they will do well.
And the Government’s response is no less impoverished and criminally cold blooded.
Paula Gopee-Scoon says they have a plan for relief for the poor. Well madam, I’m here to tell you that with the exception of gold chain laden residents, the majority of the working class will need that relief and its most acute on pensioners and the thousands who are living below the poverty line, since the widespread increases in fuel prices, gleefully implemented by the ever grinning Finance Minister, with the moniker “they ain’t riot yet”.
As a matter of fact, the Trade Minister was well equipped with the trademark political cop out that flour prices in Trinidad and Tobago were lower than in other Caribbean countries. This does nothing to comfort us.
Mind you, the Government still intends to implement the property tax with the assurance that it will not be back-breaking. But I assure you that the backs of the nation are well broken and so we will have to be pay taxes with the bread (aka money).
We were saying that we were becoming like Venezuela—no foreign exchange, no jobs, thieves everywhere and so we were in denial that Guyana was sneaking up. Well, heck, Guyana here we are.
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