Categorized | National News

“Gov’t Fails GB,” Says Turnquest

Grand Bahama has been neglected by the government, according to Free National Movement (FNM) Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest, who is now calling on the government to deliver on its promises to the island.

“We call upon the PLP (Progressive Liberal Party) to deliver on its promise to construct the new high school in West Grand Bahama, construct the new fire station, construct the Fishing Hole Road Causeway and construct the sea wall at Smith’s Point,” Turnquest said during the FNM’s press conference held in Grand Bahama yesterday.

Turnquest and members of the FNM wants the government to deliver on its promises because they believe the government has abandoned Grand Bahama and failed to initiate the programmes and policies promised to the island.

As a result of the government’s neglect, Turnquest said many Grand Bahamians continue to suffer with an economy that’s in crisis and there are no signs of improvement.

He provided an illustration of situations in Grand Bahama where he claims has been neglected by the PLP government.

The PLP has been the government for almost three years now and according to Turnquest, the government has failed to facilitate job creation, failed to construct new schools, failed to build a new hospital and failed to commission the necessary equipment, for the eye wing and the necessary EMS vehicles.

He added that the government has also failed to establish the industrial park, to bring economic relief, to build affordable homes, to provide effective mortgage relief, to establish a Bureau of Standards for the testing of meters, including electricity meters and failed to promote local entertainment and reduce the departure taxes at the airport.

With the rise of unemployment in Grand Bahama, which is now 18.6 percent, Turnquest said many Grand Bahamians are losing their jobs at BTC, Scotiabank and even at Whatfall, and many residents are forced to leave the island in search for jobs on other islands.

“Daily we live with the reality on the ground in Grand Bahama that the cost of living and rate of poverty is increasing as a result of this PLP government’s tax and spend policies, which has heaped an even heavier burden on our Bahamian people,” Turnquest said.

He explained that value-added tax (VAT) has forced many Grand Bahamians who were already struggling, to pay more for their basic needs.

“They must now pay VAT on basic breadbasket food items, on baby food, on medicine, on water bills, on light bills and when they die, even on funeral bills,” Turnquest said.

“As pointed out in the Department of Statistics latest reports the level of poverty in our Bahamas has increased by more than 3 percent in the last three years, which contradicts the rosy picture the prime minister and the minister of Grand Bahama painted during the 2015 Mid-Term Budget Debate.”

As it relates to the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA), Turnquest said following the government’s recent decision to appoint a committee to review and make recommendations to the HCA, the PLP has squandered what could have been a major opportunity to improve and advance the development of Grand Bahama and to set a new vision for Freeport.

The deputy leader of the FNM also expressed that if the economy is to improve, it would be mandatory to provide electricity at a reasonable cost, which will be on the FNM’s agenda.

“We must provide for a truly independent regulator that the public will have full confidence in,” Turnquest said. “The PLP has again neglected Grand Bahama by failing to ensure that we receive the same benefits of solar and renewable energy enjoyed by New Providence and the rest of the country under the recently passed Electricity Amendment Act.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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