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Mitchell Denies Ministry Has Spent $1.5m On Travel

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell has denied that his ministry has spent over $1.5 million on travel since he took office in 2012.

Speaking at a College of the Bahamas lecture on Foreign Policy and Trade Issues, Mr Mitchell outlined that as Minister of Foreign Affairs he is also not supplied with $10,000 cash whenever he travelled.

These “idle” and “silly” debates, he said, over the cost of his work as the Minister of Foreign Affairs is “stupidity in its purest form.”

“No, the Prime Minister did not take a Bahamasair jet to fly to New York for the UN address. No there has been no excess expenditure on travel at all. No, the reception at the United Nations did not cost $60,000 or anything near that figure. Everything within budget. So the whole thing is just one lie after the next which is being done for political purposes,” Mr Mitchell said.

Referring to how his party was outmanoeuvred politically during the Caribbean Single Market and Economy debate in 2006, Mr Mitchell said he is convinced that when it comes to campaigns such as the much debated Value Added Tax (VAT), “consultation is not the way to go.”

“The government has been elected to govern and should do so, making the hard choices to move the country ahead, not looking left or right. If we do not act on this and so many other matters of national importance, the country will be set back and the programmes delayed to the detriment of the people of the country,” he added.

Touching on the theme of the public’s “right to know”, Mr Mitchell noted that there is the need to fix the issue of Bahamian’s attitudes and values in the culture of our country to “make us a faster, quicker, better, leaner machine”.

“We cannot sit here in the Bahamas and believe that the world revolves around us and that the world will come to us. In our recent trips to the Middle East and the Far East, we found out that although many people have heard of the Bahamas that they only had the vaguest idea where the Bahamas is and most people who knew where it is think that we are one of the states of the United States of America. So when we go out to get investment to the country, we have that identity problem to fix, and then we have the issue of what it is that we offer. What we need to be able safely to offer to the world is a well-trained work force; a proactive country with an eye to the future and a government that makes timely decisions that can be executed by the public service without prejudice, corruption or unnecessary bureaucracy in the context of a society that believes in the rule of law,” he said.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 6 years, 10 months ago

Thank you. Can you dispel the idle and stupid debates with hard numbers? The government is accountable to the people. And btw there is no need to travel to the Far East to find people who don't know where the Bahamas is, you can go right next door to the states and even the Caribbean.

Touching on the theme of the public’s “right to know”, Mr Mitchell noted that there is the need to fix the issue of Bahamian’s attitudes and values in the culture of our country to “make us a faster, quicker, better, leaner machine”.

What does that mean? What does fixing attitudes have to do with the right to information?

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rony 6 years, 10 months ago

These leaders we have are disrespectful and condescending!! I don't know how they sleep at night! Just sickens me.

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ThisIsOurs 6 years, 10 months ago

I used to say that he was one of the most talented in the Christie cabinet, it's probably still true but now I am finding myself thinking that no matter how talented, his character just has such a deep and dark taint that we're better off without him. I would not be disappointed if this were his last jaunt in elected office. He is bitter, pious, defensive and very very vengeful, all horrible and dangerous character traits. Makes me believe that the victimization of the Pindling era would pale in comparison if he held the seat of power.

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Honestman 6 years, 10 months ago

There is a leader in Zimbabwe with similar traits. Look what happened to the poor souls over there. Contrast him with a man like Nelson Mandela who had even more right to be bitter. One man became a legend one will be consigned to the historical dustbin.

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