Categorized | National News

FNM Chairman Criticises Gov’t For COB Hikes

Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash is raking the government over the coals for the College of The Bahamas’ decision to increase and introduce new student fees come the fall semester.

“The PLP Government’s decision to force the Council of The College of The Bahamas to raise tuition and fees is a cruel, short-sighted and ill-considered policy solution. The PLP Government’s general election charter for governance featured the faces of dozens of young people with beaming looks of optimism and promise,” Mr. Cash said in a press statement.

“A significant component of the PLP’s message in the campaign was the inflated rhetoric that they believed in Bahamians. To date, this administration has demonstrated a most unusual way of expressing their confidence in and commitment to young people.”

The chairman said the PLP Government’s campaign promise to double its investment in education was nothing but a “hollow campaign pledge designed to win the votes of young people and other who were facing tough times and wanted desperately to be given hope.”

“Despite the political price we knew we would pay, the FNM tried to be real with the people and told them the truth. The PLP sold false hopes…and, frankly, lied to the young people. What they did not tell the people who believed them that they planned to double the cost of education and fees charged to Bahamians in the nation to pay for that investment,” Mr. Cash said.

“This action once again underscores what the FNM has been repeating frequently about Prime Minister Christie, he is bankrupt of ideas about how to address the core challenges this country faces. Furthermore, the COB betrayal is more evidence that the Prime Minister is all talk and no action. In September 2012 when the BGCSE results were released, the Prime Minister expressed yet again righteous indignation about the unsatisfactory results and vowed that something needed to be done.”

Mr. Cash also said Prime Minister Perry Christie “is too out of touch.”

“The Government of The Bahamas should be working hard to strengthen COB, not weaken it. Consequently, the decision to coerce the college into increasing fees and charges is counterproductive. The strategy to “nickel and dime” students out of a few extra dollars is not indicative of a government that is even remotely committed to the advancement of young people. Again, this is indicative of a government that lacks imagination and is bankrupt of ideas,” he said.

“The FNM believes that for the immediate future, COB should be off limits when it comes to budget cuts. There are sufficient other opportunities for the government to be able to reduce the cost of government,” Mr. Cash said.

“They can start by reducing the inflated number of foreign and domestic consultants, eliminating a consulate in Washington DC that the country does not need and reducing the number of planned referenda. There should be no effort to reduce the deficit on the backs of students at the College of The Bahamas. The FNM believes that after the Christie administration cuts all the fat they have added to public spending, there are legitimate areas where Bahamians should be asked to make sacrifices in favour of the country’s broader national development goals. In addition to education, these include healthcare, a jobs programmes, crime fighting, and border protection.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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