Categorized | National News

Davis – Govt Copied PLP Plan

In their first official role as Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Members of Parliament agreed that the plans and foundations discussed in the Speech from the Throne were already laid out by the PLP government.

Opposition Leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis made this comment on behalf of the PLP MPs during a press conference in the Minority Room of the House of Assembly yesterday, where the opposition responded to the Speech from the Throne that was read by Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling during the Opening of Parliament.

“The government must now enter the real world of governance and not trash talk from a platform,” Mr. Davis said.


“Governance requires hard choices. It is easy as a critic to stand and promote ideas which have no foundation in fact, but reality has now hit home.


“We listened intently and the reality is that the Speech from the Throne is an acknowledgement of the transformative foundation already constructed by the Progressive Liberal Party government. We are encouraged to hear that the government has embraced essential job related skills training and specialized programmes for youth unemployment.


“We have already laid the foundation for wider access to justice. We created the Public Defender’s Office and the statutory ability to appoint more judges. We reduced the time it takes for cases to come to trial.”

Mr. Davis, who is also the PLP’s interim leader, also warned the government about its intention to repeal a very important piece of legislation that was passed by the last administration.

According to the Speech from the Throne, the government plans to repeal and replace Grand Bahama Investment Incentive Act 2016.

“We caution them on that,” Davis warned concerning plans to repeal the act.

“We remind the prime minister and deputy prime minister that the bill was evidenced based. Its primary purpose was to ensure land in the Port area was not hoarded, but rather be developed for the benefit for the residents and licensees of the Port area.

“I remind them that they voted for the bill when it was introduced and I continue to remind them that they ought to be careful in their repealing of this act.”

The Christie administration introduced the Grand Bahama (Port Area) Investment Incentives Act 2016, which requires GBPA licensees to apply for renewal of their real property tax, capital gains and income tax exemptions, after these rights under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement expired on May 4, 2015.

A series of extensions has now given GBPA licensees until July 4, 2017 to apply.

While Davis and colleagues took exception with several ideas from the speech, he added that he is reassured in the fact that the government seems to be committed to the implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI), but said his team will ensure that the benefits will not only be reaped by “a favoured few.”

“We will support any policy which protects the poor and the vulnerable. We will support any policy in which the national interests are protected and promoted,” Mr. Davis added.


“As for Customs and Treasury reform, the systems were already acquired for Customs and the Treasury.  Substantial reform has already taken place in the Ministry of Finance and the blueprint was left in place for them to execute.


“National Health Insurance was done by the PLP and we were already committed to the secondary and tertiary implementation of NHI. It is reassuring to see that the FNM is going to continue the work on NHI.


“So the foundation is there, set by the PLP, but the devil is in the details.


“It is also important to ensure that the favoured few who provided the funding for this government doesn’t end up being the main beneficiaries of this government. While the FNM speaks the words of the protection for the poor, we will ensure that the benefits do not go to the wealthy.”

Last week, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said NHI will not be cancelled, but the new administration will take a more practical approach.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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