Categorized | National News

‘PM Insulating Himself’- Davis Calls Lewis ‘Dorian Whipping Boy’

Opposition Leader Philip Davis insisted that the prime minister is “insulating himself from criticism and culpability” associated with the new Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction. 

Davis said on Tuesday, during the Progressive Liberal Party’s press conference, that Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis is “passing the buck” of his primary responsibility to a junior minister.

“Now he has essentially placed poor, but well intentioned, Iram Lewis on his back to absorb much of the public backlash intended for him. Mr. Lewis is now the new ‘Dorian whipping boy,’” Davis said.

Lewis is the Central Grand Bahama member of parliament and the prime minister appointed him as the minister of state responsible for the new ministry.

“It only adds to the expenses of the government. It is a waste of public resources, financial and otherwise. What we need is structural and functional reform of NEMA. That entity must become an autonomous and fully resourced corporate sole entity,” Davis said.

“This new ministry is nothing more than an additional layer of bureaucracy that will cause more and longer delays thus deepening the frustration, anger feelings of hopelessness among our already distressed people. This will no doubt intensify the criticism of the prime minister, his policies and his government.”

On the issue of tax concessions under the special economic recovery zones policy and bonded warehouses, Davis cautioned the government against re-inventing the wheel and in duplicating efforts as this, he said, will only add to the delays and create more confusion.

“As the management and accounting systems are already in place to facilitate this tax concession policy, the government need only tweak it, making it specific and relevant to the needs of the Abaco community,” Davis said. 

“Concerning real property tax, there is no real property tax for Bahamians residing outside of New Providence.  Therefore, the prime minister’s statement is confusing concerning the circumstances surrounding this exemption for foreigners who live, own property and businesses in the affected areas. This requires some clarification.”

The opposition further charged that given the extent of the damage sustained to Grand Bahama’s businesses, the government’s allocation of $10 million is not enough and the government should give at least $100 million.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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