Categorized | National News

Opposition Explains Walks Out

The entire Parliamentary Opposition walked out of the House of Assembly Wednesday evening during the debate on the government’s Fiscal Strategy Report 2018 on the grounds of what they said was a protest against bullying by St. Annes MP Brent Symonette. 

In a statement Opposition Leader said the unparliamentarily behavior of Minister Symonette sought to silence the voice of Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salavador.
The statement  said,  “Mr. Symonette  arbitrarily disrupted the order of speakers as was agreed and at this stage in my career, I am not about to be disrespected or dictated  to by the likes of Mr. Symonette.”

As it related to the Fiscal Strategy Report 2018, Mr. Davis said he has several observations.

“The report, mandated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, represents nothing more than a codification of longstanding conventional practices in the administration of public finances.

“It is akin to a contract between two people and is only as good as the propriety of the parties involved ; in that there are no built in constraints or enforcement mechanisms. 

“Cabinet Ministers can do as they please, such as the whimsical and unbudgeted purchase of the Grand Lucayan Hotel – then make amendments after the fact with no accountability. 

“Or cabinet can raise taxes on a whim; they can also promise, then unceremoniously abandon important post hurricane repairs or even fire thousands of public servants in the name of ‘fiscal responsibility,’” he said.

Considering the government’s handling of the country’s fiscal affairs Mr. Davis said in his view,  it is unlikely that the government will meet many of the fiscal targets set out in the current budget.

The Opposition Leader cautioned  the government to be more concerned about the ‘social deficit’ than the ‘fiscal deficit’ or ‘balance sheet’ in determining their fiscal priorities. 

He added that the national budget only exists to serve the best interests of the people.

The statement ended with Mr. Davis thanking his parliamentary colleagues who acquitted themselves in holding the government to account for its fiscal stewardship of the people’s money.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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