Categorized | National News

DPM Addresses Concerns of Ignoring Poor

Amid concerns of the budget ignoring the poor, Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest  yesterday reiterated a call for the public to pay less attention to political pundits, social media, and political operatives.

Mr. Turnquest affirmed that many parts of the 2018/2019 fiscal budget  have a direct benefit for Bahamians,  particularly those in the most “vulnerable” financial position.

He said, “when we start talking about the breadbasket items, the electricity, and the water; those represent real savings to the Bahamian people. Particularly, those who consume at the lower end of the spectrum, and I think it’s particularly important that this class of persons  read this budget for themselves because it irritates me, quite frankly, when I hear people say that there’s nothing in this for the poor.”

He added, “the fact of the matter is that we’ve gone  out to make sure that we’ve protected and cushioned as much as we possibly can the effect of  the increase on the most vulnerable, and that is reflected in the exemptions on the most basic items and services that that class of people utilize.”

Mr. Turnquest said he recognizes the 4.5 percent increase also affects the remainder of the country; but he also said this calls for shared sacrifice for all who have benefitted from the system for years without paying their fair share.

He said, “we’ve built up a tremendous amount of debt as a result of the fact that we were mortgaging the future of our children, and that’s just not acceptable. We have to get our  financial situation under control. We have to balance our consumption, our  utilization of the resources against that of what we contribute.”

He added, “there’s a famous saying, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’ Well, this is where we are.”

The Deputy Prime Minister added that this concerns boils down to the country’s lack of knowledge for personal finance management.

He said, “It is simple math. If you make x, you can’t spend y, and that’s where we’ve been. We’ve been maxing out this credit card and it’s time to get it under control. Otherwise, it will consume us.”

He added, “I hear people talk about, ‘Oh we’re not at Barbados level, we’re not at Jamaica level.’, but if we continue on the path that we’re going,  it is clear where we’re going to end up.

“It is the responsible thing for us to do while we can do it and while we can control the way that we do it to do it now. So, we’re taking the bull by the horn and wrestling it to the ground, ” he said.

The minister contended that in three years the proof will be in the pudding as to the success of the government’s efforts.


Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook