Categorized | National News


Even though  the revenue of the government is up,  the  taxpayers of the  Bahamas are being asked by  the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance  Peter Turnquest to  be patient as  the government seeks to balance its budget.    

A fiscal snapshot of the first quarter shows  an increase in revenue by $60.1 million and this is said to be due to an increase in collections from Stamp tax and Value Added Tax (VAT).

The report read, “Overall expenditure grew by $3.5m as a result for a $39.1 increase in recurrent expenditure and a $35.6m decrease in capital expenditure. The most significant increase from payments to settle a portion of the government’s budgeted arrears.”

It added, “The major investments were $6.6m into the sinking funds, which sets aside money to pay off the principal on existing long-term debt and the investment of $37.5m into Lucayan Renewal Holdings limited to purchase and temporarily hold the Our Lucayan properties.”

Further, a decrease in the deficit by more than 50 percent occurring year on year. 

The Deputy Prime Minister, however, cautioned to not read too much into the numbers at this point as it is only the first quarter and there is still a lot of hard work to do. 

Nonetheless, the government said it is cautiously optimistic that it is on track to meet its fiscal targets which called for a substantial reduction in its annual deficit.

Mr. Turnquest said, “we recognize that this is not free money. In fact, we recognize that we have made a commitment to the Bahamian people, and we are following through on that.”

He added, “I’m particularly pleased that we are able to pay off  21 per cent of the arrears that we projected that we would pay this year, and that is progress because as we pay off those arrears; we’ll be able to fulfill our commitment in terms of being able to reinvest.”

Mr. Turnquest added that all their asking is that Bahamians continue to partner with them and continue to be patient. 

The minister said the public can expect to see the full effect in the next quarter and certainly going into the third quarter.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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