Categorized | National News

Gov’t May Have To Borrow More Money – Urban Renewal Needs Continued Funding

It appears the government may have to borrow more money to ensure continued funding of its much touted Urban Renewal project.

Prime Minister Perry Christie told reporters on Tuesday that the government is not satisfied with its budget; however, he said his government is doing what it can with what it has.

Mr. Christie said his government is obligated to take Urban Renewal to Grand Bahama, which would inevitably cost his administration more money.

“We are never comfortable or satisfied in the sense that it is a work in progress,” Mr. Christie said about the budget ahead of the government’s weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday.

“We are trying to ensure that funding for Urban Renewal continues. As you know, that programme consists of the demolition of buildings, cleaning of lots and repairing homes. And quite frankly we are required to do the same in Freeport, Grand Bahama,” he said.

“So it’s always working towards the perfect solution and you never reach that point. And so no, we are not satisfied because there is so much to be done and so many strategies to finance.”

Mr. Christie announced that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be in the country next month, at which time the prime minister said his government will meet with IMF officials to demonstrate the country’s fiscal responsibility and to show that it is encouraging foreign direct investment.

Mr. Christie said his government is optimistic that it will be able to show the international community that it is managing the country’s affairs well.

PM On Economic Performance

Optimistic about the country’s economic performance, the prime minister said things still seem promising.

“We are encouraged by the tourism results,” Mr. Christie said, adding that “The minister of tourism has been meeting with airlines, tour companies and all of the people that produce business.”

“They have already given some indication that cruise business and cruise spending is up and we are hoping to enjoy continued increases. We are looking at properties that are closed with a view to seeing what we can do to have some of them opened.”
Mr. Christie said the government will zero in on Grand Bahama in particular in order to help bolster economic development on that island.

“We are most certainly watching global events critically moving forward. I continue to be optimistic and that optimism has to be supported. And the fact that I’m saying that I am optimistic must give some indication that there is a basis behind it. I hope in the not too distant future you [the Bahamian people] will be able to see why I’ve been saying that,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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