Categorized | Featured, National News

Gov’t Revenue Bust


The near collapse of the economies of Abaco and Grand Bahama caused by Hurricane Dorian will drastically reduce the government’s income for a few years. 

According to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest, it is estimated that the country’s revenue will be hit with a $200 million shortfall because of the hurricane’s impact.

“Abaco and Grand Bahama represents somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of our GDP, so it’s not an insignificant loss to the economy,” Minister Turnquest told reporters yesterday before the weekly Cabinet meeting.

“Hopefully, the reconstruction, the inflow of insurance proceeds and people putting that to work will rebuild the economy. 

“Hopefully, that will offset some of the touristic losses that we expect and will be able to get them up and going and contributing again very shortly.” 

This financial setback has left the government with the task of returning to Bahamians with a revised plan.

“The Fiscal Responsibility Act requires us to come in November with our fiscal projection outlook for the next budget season,” Minister Turnquest said.

“So we will make whatever adjustments are necessary during that time and then when we come to parliament we will present that revised report I think January, early February. 

“We will be able to outline exactly what has happened, what effect it has had and how we intend to adjust our fiscal outlook moving forward to account for and get us back on track.”     

As for those lump sum payouts to the public service, the DPM said there is still a desire to do so and it’s now a matter of being practical and reasonable given the expected expenditure over the next couple months.

“As you all know, this is a significant unexpected event for the government and so we have to make sure that we properly budget and consider all of the ramifications for our expenditure over the next couple of months for sure, until we have determined and been able to put concrete numbers to what our outlook is going to look like,” he said.  

“So at the moment it’s on hold and we’ll see how we can adjust it and maybe see towards the end of the year how we can fit it in.” 

On Monday, India donated $1 million to hurricane relief efforts.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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