US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, says while there have been some countries around the world that have tried direct cash disbursements to citizens from oil revenues, “it is not something that normally happens.”
However, he says the most important conversation that a country like Guyana should have is not on “giving each citizen a cheque; but giving each citizen a quality education, quality health care, a secure environment in which to live and work and I think if you do all of those things with the revenue that petroleum generates, everyone will make plenty of money and be very prosperous.”
In restating his point, he said the focus should be on the things that the Government can do to provide its citizens, especially the young people, with the skills and knowledge that they need to be successful.
However, he added, “Each Government is allowed to do what it wants and should certainly consider all options.”
Commenting specifically on the direct cash disbursements, the Ambassador said, “I think most people say it is not particularly a good idea on a broad-based manner, but there might be some focused way to do it.”
Economist, Dr Clive Thomas, at a recent forum, had suggested that the Guyana Government take a portion of the oil monies and use it for direct cash transfers to citizens.
He suggested that the sum of 5000 US dollars could be used for this purpose.
Dr Thomas’ suggestion has stirred up heated debates throughout the country and on social media on whether such a step will be feasible.