Categorized | Business, National News

Cash Casts Doubt On Upcoming Budget

With only days to go until the government presents its 2014-2015 Budget, Free National Movement Chairman Darron Cash yesterday the Bahamian people have little reason for optimism that the prime minister will present a balanced approach to the country’s fiscal priorities.

“For the last 12 to 18 months Ministry of Finance officials have been going around the country declaring that the sky would fall if they did not get VAT implemented on July 1, 2014, Mr. Cash said in a statement. “This effort failed mainly because of the failings of the two ministers of Finance. They ignored the early warning from the public, Opposition and the business community—that this was the wrong tax at the wrong time—and by the time they actually started listening, they had run out of time for an effective and efficient implementation of any reform, VAT or otherwise.

Mr. Cash continued: “Having failed to deliver value added tax, or any other meaningful tax reform measure, the prime minister will almost certainly try to announce some other set of taxes to compensate for the foregone VAT income.”

The FNM chairman said the government has run out of time to do things properly and he expressed concern about the extent to which it will make “desperate and ill-considered tax moves to generate income in the short term.

“If the prime minister fails to outline a set of meaningful and well considered revenue enhancement and cost cutting measures, his budget will rightly be regarded as a splendid work of fiction,” Mr. Cash said.

“Even as the PM and Minister of Finance prepares to increase taxes, it would be unconscionable for him to do so without demonstrating that his government will be committed to sharing the pain by reducing their own wasteful and misdirected spending. To be clear, this means much fewer foreign trips, fewer new cars, fewer self-serving (exaggerated) fictional glossy magazines about “accomplishments” that don’t exist and fewer padded contracts for pet projects.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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