Categorized | National News


Leader of Government Business in the Senate and Attorney General  Carl Bethel, has accused the opposition  Progressive Liberal Party of intimidating the Bahamian people with their “tired old tactics,” creating irrational fear and scaremongering.

“I must observe that the debate in social circles has, in my view, been reduced to an exercise in race baiting, the stirring up of xenophobic and irrational fears and scaremongering by some elements in the opposition,” Mr. Bethel said.

Mr. Bethel, who led off the debate on the Commercial Enterprises Bill, also sought to defend Minister of Immigration, Brent Symonette, whom he claimed was taking chastisement with debaters referring to the Bill  as the “Brent Bill”.

“The scaremongering by the leader of the opposition, and his threat to potential investors and Bahamians, who might take advantage of the provisions in this bill, once enacted, is equally to be deplored.

“Both of these responses, race baiting, scaremongering, these are tired old PLP tactics that have always been used in every instance against any FNM initiative,” Mr. Bethel said.

“I urge Bahamians to remember the sordid past of the PLP; the fact that they say one thing in opposition and do an entirely different thing in government; and to judge their vitriol and their tactics now on this initiative,” he said.

During his contribution, Mr. Bethel also sought to clarify contentious points in the bill, including the argument that $250,000 was too low a threshold for investment in the Bahamas.


Mr. Bethel explained the reasoning behind the investment amount, and noted that amendments were made to the bill.

“The question of why the capital requirement was set at $250,000 only, is a valid question, based on the criticism level on this bill.  It would seem to me  the height of bottom feeding to go so far as to grant a non-Bahamian who starts a business the right to permanently reside and live in The Bahamas for the rest of his life for a mere $500,000.

“This bill talks about an investment of $250,000 for a work permit, that’s what this bill calls for,” Mr. Bethel said.

However, PLP Senator, Michael Darville said that the bill will disenfranchise young Bahamians and professionals.

“The liberalization of work permits, in my view, will go against the Bahamianization policy, the Investment policy, and will prove to be counter-productive to Bahamian workers,” Mr. Darville said.

Debate on the Commercial Enterprises Bill began in the Upper Chamber yesterday, after being passed in the House of Assembly.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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