Categorized | National News

FNM Leader Blasts Gov’t’s First 100 Days

Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis has charged that of the 14 specific promises made by the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) during the past campaign cycle only six of them have been partially delivered during the government’s first 100 days in office.

Dr. Minnis cited the re-launch of the PLP’s Urban Renewal Programme, the creation of the Ministry for Grand Bahama and the reestablishment of the Ministry of Financial Services and Investments along with the reduction of the stamp duty to 10 per cent, a ceiling on the maximum level of real property taxes and details on the proposed gambling referendum among the campaign pledges the government has minimally delivered upon.

But, Dr. Minnis maintained that these accomplishments do little to hide the overwhelming list of the government’s broken promises.

Dr. Minnis said that the PLP has failed to honour its pledge to reduce energy costs and he charged that the new administration has still not laid out a fully detailed plan for the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC).

“All that [Environment Minister] Kenred Dorsett announced in his communication to Parliament was a repetition of the same initiatives which were already being considered and evaluated by the same officials under the FNM Government,” Dr. Minnis said.

“In fact, his communication, which was entitled “Planning our Electrical Future,” is not a specific plan at all. The statement was nothing more than a regurgitation of some positive initiatives already started under the FNM such as energy conservation programmes and reducing Customs duty on Solar equipment together with a smorgasbord of hodge-podge, half-baked, ideas that have been kicked around in BEC and in officialdom for more than a decade.”

Dr. Minnis also criticised the government for failing to renew the country’s commitment to National Health Insurance (NHI) and for failing to reposition the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) to become a leading player in job creation and business expansion.

According to the Opposition leader, the government’s education policy is another example of false promises made by the PLP.

“By no measure of any government activity, budgetary allocation, or public-private sector partnership has there been any substantial of meaningful increase in the budget of the ministry or Department of Education, or in respect of any other government ministry of agency providing services to young Bahamians, which collectively come anywhere near that which was solemnly promised to Bahamians, namely a doubling of the nation’s investment in education,” he said.

“It was all a cynical exercise in smoke and mirrors, sound and fury, which signifies nothing.”

The FNM leader claimed that one of the biggest breaches of promises by the government is its failure to deliver relief to struggling homeowners because of preconditions that were never indicated when the PLP made its election promises.

“Now the mortgage has to have been in existence before the 1st January, 2009; now the borrower must have had an acceptable credit history prior to June 30th 2008; now the principal loan amount must be under $500,000; now a delinquent loan must be shown to have become so due to involuntary unemployment, financial hardship, under-employment or chronic illness; but not the death of a spouse or household income provider; now applicants for the programme must be shown to have “sufficient, sustainable, documented and verifiable income to support restructured payments,” Dr. Minnis said.

“None of these conditions were made clear when the PLP were promising voters that all would be well and that their defaulted mortgages would be taken care of by the PLP government. How is someone who is unemployed going to be able to prove to a bank that they have ‘sufficient, sustainable, documented and verified income? The main problem facing the unemployed is precisely a lack of “sufficient, sustainable, documented and verifiable income.’ Never mind the talk about the involuntarily unemployed; by the very terms of the relief plan, an involuntarily unemployed homeowner is unable to even qualify to apply for mortgage relief.”

Dr. Minnis said this new PLP Government is quickly demonstrating that the plans it puts in place are for the sole benefit of PLP’s at the disadvantage of thousands of Bahamians. He assured that his party would continue to investigate claims of victimisation committed by the government.

He also promised that the FNM still intends to move ahead with its class action lawsuit against the Christie administration on behalf of all who claim to have been victimised.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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