Categorized | National News


The Member of Parliament for Exuma and Ragged Island, I.Chester Cooper says the opposition questions the logic of the government borrowing U.S. dollars to pay off Bahamian dollar loans “at a time of excess liquidity in the system.”

He noted that $300 million is being used to pay –off domestic treasury bills and bank advances.

The Opposition Shadow Minister of Finance says the fact that the government is able to raise US$750 million,” is tangible proof that the cupboard was never bare.”

Calling Mr. Cooper’s comments misguided,  Minister of Finance, K. Peter Turnquest said, “the current administration met a Treasury that was wholly cash strapped, with government agencies holding hundreds of millions of dollars in arrears owed to Bahamian individuals and businesses. I don’t know how much bearer  the members opposite could have left  the proverbial cupboard.

“The sole reason we did borrow and are borrowing funds at the current level is that we have had to take on the unfunded obligations and fill up the bare cupboard left by the former PLP  administration  that  the Member of Exuma is so cleverly-but unsuccessfully trying  to distance himself away from,” said the Minister.

Explaining the rationale for paying off $300 million in domestic borrowing from the international bond offering, Mr. Turnquest stated, “our debt planning exercise is done with the consultation of the Central Bank and other institutional stakeholders to ensure that our interventions optimize the opportunities both domestic and foreign within the confines of prudent marco-fiscal management of the economy. There is significant analysis that informs these decisions,” he said.

Speaking in the House of Assembly, Mr. Cooper who is   Deputy Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party said, “ although the government  boasts its success for locking in new debt after an intensive globe trot, we reiterate the point that since the  Free National Movement government took office, there has been no significant foreign direct investments materializing and the government has presented no plan of any kind to spur life into the economy.”

Mr. Cooper said he looks forward to the government’s  focused attention on job creation as there have been extensive layoffs and many Bahamian families are hurting.

“We await the government’s attention to creating opportunities for job creation, economic growth, Foreign Direct Investment and driving entrepreneurship and domestic investment,” said the Exuma MP.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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