Categorized | National News


Deputy Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party, I Chester Cooper says the government decision  to raise Value Added Tax to 12 percent  “is not only treacherous but is a reckless and dangerous move on the part of the government”. 

“The Government shamelessly announced an increase in VAT from 7.5 per cent  to 12 per cent . A whopping 60 per cent. This is an outrage.

“This is not economics. This is politriks and obeah economics.

“We put no faith in their fiscal deficit recovery strategy. One hurricane can come along and blow a hole in that strategy. It is pie in the sky.


“Imagine now how obtuse this government now seems, out of touch with reality. 

“The banking system has failed Bahamians. The people in remote communities like South Andros and Acklins and Black Point have to depend on deposits in gaming houses to be able to get their money. Now it is going to cost them 5 per cent to put their own money on deposit. This is tax madness. It is unconscionable.


“Let me emphatically state that the PLP does not support any increase in taxes in this budget exercise. We will vote against them!” said Mr. Cooper. 

The shadow Minister of Finance opined that the proposals alone indicate the Minnis administration has no idea what it’s doing.

Mr. Cooper added that when VAT was first implemented, experts including the Inter-American Development Bank, IMF, Standard and Poor’s Moody’s as well as Chamber of Commerce’s consultants from Oxford, agreed that VAT should be implemented at 7.5 percent with no exemptions.   

“What research has the government undertaken to determine that exemptions, despite the best advice from throughout the world, is the best course of action and not merely a political gimmick?


“The truth is, it will make VAT collection more complex and potentially affect revenues beyond what the government expects it will miss out on from those exempted items.


“The FNM is undoing progress on the most progressive tax reform in generations without understanding what it is it is doing.


“This is the same FNM that voted against VAT, claiming it would inflict pain and stress on the middle class and the poor, called it double taxation. In opposition, the now prime minister said it would remove the hope of a better life. Now there is move afoot to throw what has worked successfully out of balance,” Mr. Cooper said.

Leader of the Opposition Philip Davis predicted on Sunday, in a press statement, that the government’s 2018/2019 Budget would be a “bleak outcome and a recession inducing budget”. 

Mr. Davis during a press conference following the budget presentation, said that what was presented reaffirmed his belief. 

“There is no doubt, and it is very scary. I share the view of my colleagues that the competence of this government has to be called into account. 

“I don’t know who they are listening to, because clearly, I don’t know if there is some textbook, academic approach to governance, but that they don’t even seem to appreciate. But The Bahamas is a unique country, the fundaments of our economy are very much unlike many others because of our demographic and no doubt the expectations of our people. 

“I fear they [FNM administration] don’t understand the fundamentals of our economy; that’s the first step in being able to chart a course for the lives of the people,” Mr. Davis said.

Mr. Cooper added that the PLP will oppose these taxes and vigorously defend the Bahamian people against the FNM whose self-interest and political survival have caused them to abandon any pretense of it being the ‘people’s time’. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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