Categorized | National News

Minnis: Baha Mar Deal Contains ‘Disastrous Provisions’

A day after the “secret” Baha Mar deal was unsealed, Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis charged that the documents contain many “disastrous provisions”.

With that sentiment as his premise, the FNM leader in a statement yesterday said this makes it obvious why the government saw fit to conceal the deal in the first place.

“Now the truth comes out. And it is not good for the Bahamian people. The public disclosure of the PLP’s secret Baha Mar is breathtaking in its brazen theft of our country’s assets. The astounding revelations from this disclosure leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind as to why our embattled Prime Minister Perry Christie and his co-conspirator Attorney General fought so hard to shroud this deal in secrecy – even going to the courts to seal the contents from public view,” Dr. Minnis said.

Dr. Minnis referred to the deal as a multi-million dollar theft of the Bahamian people.

He was alluding to the fact that China Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE) has been exempted from value-added tax (VAT) until December 2019.

Additionally, for a period of 21 years, commencing from the date of completion and opening of the new casino and casino hotel, the government has permitted the deduction of the company’s gaming licence, $5 million from the amount of the annual Licence and Monitoring Fee and 50 percent of the annual gaming tax in respect of taxable revenue in excess of $20 million.

“The conception and timing, along with their fake, ‘soft’ opening, which only included unpaid guests of the PLP party, of this scandalous scheme has been shown for what it is, a costly campaign driven effort to prop up the election hopes of a corrupt regime that the public has grown tired of.  But they have failed. Unfortunately, it will be the Bahamian people who will shoulder the burden and pay the price for Perry Christie’s ill-advised and ill-conceived give away to his Chinese cronies,” he said.

“We now know the reason he hand-picked the scandal scarred Jerome Fitzgerald and his hand-picked Attorney General to enter into these backroom negotiations on Baha Mar. Regardless of his complicity in his party members’ attempts to enrich themselves at the people’s expense, his actions will leave a dark mark on our country for years to come based on the details contained within this secret Baha Mar deal.  We will put Bahamians’ interest over politician’s personal profit – a far cry from the last five years of this disastrous Christie PLP government,” continued Dr. Minnis.

Dr. Minnis has been agitating for the Christie administration to divulge the details behind the deal for months, constantly reiterating that the revelation of the deal would bring with it disgraceful information.

“Sadly, we now know those concerns were justified. The newly public documents reveal hundreds of millions in waived VAT taxes. Imagine how many Bahamian families will struggle while the PLP’s allies are excluded from paying the VAT tax, enriching themselves at our expense. This sweet-heart deal our embattled prime minister signed off on and then hid from the public has so many disastrous provisions that will impact our country for years to come,” Dr. Minnis said.

“The PLP’s irresponsible transaction and their scandalous and illegal efforts surrounding Baha Mar are an affront to the hard-working families that struggle to make ends meet every day because they are trapped in a failing economy with double digit unemployment combined with skyrocketing debt. This cannot go on – and will not go on. On May 10 the people will have their say and will be able to vote this corrupt government out of office and elect a new leadership that will be answerable to the people and always looks to put them first. Bahamians everywhere know our time has come and that could only mean that the PLP’s disastrous rule is coming to an end,” he said.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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