Categorized | National News

Minnis Expresses hope for the upcoming budget

Opposition leader Dr. Hubert Minnis is eager for the upcoming annual budget presentation to show a plan that will tackle the growing deficit.

Dr. Minnis says any budget worthwhile will include efforts that tackle a number of issues including Baha Mar, the deficit and unemployment.

“What will this Government offer? A true path forward out of our country’s downward trajectory, or more of the same?” he questioned.

“Will the PLP serve up an election year budget rife with headline grabbing spending that our taxpayers cannot afford but will be forced to foot the bill when all is said and done? Or will this Government finally come to terms with their years of neglect and focus on enriching their friends, families and allies at the Bahamians expense? The budget means their day of reckoning is soon at hand.”

Earlier this year during the unveiling of the mid-year budget Prime Minister Perry Christie confirmed that the Government had incurred a $157m fiscal deficit for the six months to end-December 2015.

Mr. Christie credited the $157m deficit to “seasonality, “while stating that most of the revenues by the Government are usually earned during the second half of its financial year.


“They have created over $100 million more than they originally estimated. Will they finally have a plan that ends our country’s two straight years of negative economic growth? Or will this budget address the massive unemployment created by the stalled Baha Mar debacle. Will their budget anticipate Baha Mar finally getting on track – and deliver the 5,000 good paying jobs they promised?” Dr Minnis said.

Justice Ian Winder earlier this month approved a five-month delay to the Government’s Baha Mar winding-up petition, in a move to give the ongoing sales process time to be sorted out. The current sales process has attracted 16 prospective buyers.

The opening of the Cable beach mega was scheduled for December 2014, but was deferred to March 2015 and again to May 2015.

Baha Mar’s developer filed for bankruptcy protection in the US on June 29, 2015, however the Supreme Court then rejected the resorts application so that the matter may be recognized in The Bahamas.

Baha Mar went into receivership last October.

“Any meaningful budget would include efforts to finally rid our country of the rampant corruption that has infected every aspect of our government under the PLP leadership, hurting our people – robbing them of jobs, hurting businesses and driving up costs.

“This budget should ensure that the lucrative contracts that have been handed out to allies of the PLP become a thing of the past.   Whenever the government is spending the people’s tax dollars it should be done in an open and transparent manner with true accountability.”

Dr. Minnis added that proper transparency will save money and help the country to avoid the series of headlines which citizens see each week that address issues in various government agencies.

“It is the people’s hope that this Government will finally rise to the challenges which they themselves have helped to create in our country. No more empty rhetoric or continued broken promises. This budget will be a true test of whether the PLP has any meaningful plans to get the Bahamas back on track.”

Dr. Minnis ended by stating that the FNM is ready to rise to the challenge and will deliver accountability.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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