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PM: Budget Represents Solid Start


Prime Minister Perry Christie said his government’s proposed 2012/2013 budget represents a “solid start” on the promises the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) made during the campaign trail, particularly as it relates to getting the country’s bank books in order.

While delivering his contribution to the budget debate in the House of Assembly Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Christie said he is on a mission to ensure that his government honours the commitment it made to hit the ground running in rebuilding the country and provide immediate relief to the Bahamian people.

“In pursuing our agenda we will (take on) the reckless fiscal husbandry of our predecessors,” he said. “We have been up front and honest with the people that we will not pursue change by spending more money, meaningful and sustainable change requires a multifaceted approach taking in all aspects of the community.

“The 2012/2013 budget communication is clear on this point. My government is firmly committed to fiscal prudence and the return of the fiscal account to more sustainable levels.”

Prime Minister Christie said the PLP government’s objective in this area is stated very clearly and that is, at minimum, to balance the country’s expenditure and revenue accounts.

“That is our objective,” he said. “Accordingly, we acknowledge that we will need to seek flexible, innovative and fiscally responsible approaches as we implement our visionary agenda.

“I would again emphasise that we face an extreme time constraint in preparing the 2012/2013 budget. In finalising the budget we had very little discretionary room to maneuver, despite this I believe the 2012/2013 budget represents a solid start on our programme.”

He added that in the period ahead, his government will also assess the progress made, implementing further initiatives to be presented during the mid-year budget.

“We have a lot of fixing to do,” the prime minister added. “We are going to be accountable to doing it and we will bring to the Bahamian people, piece by piece and step by step how we do it.

“We have been clear throughout about our overriding priorities, resolving the crime issue and unemployment.”

Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis wrapped up the two week budget debate.

The House will resume at 10:00 a.m.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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