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Budget A ‘Dismal Failure Filled With False Hope’

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K Peter Turnquest

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

THE Free National Movement yesterday dismissed the government’s 2014/2015 budget as a “dismal failure” that contained nothing but “false hope” and the “same old promises.”

Shadow Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said this year’s budget is a duplicate of last year’s as well as the government’s mid-year budget contribution.

“Once again, the Prime Minister has presented a budget that can only be described as long on talk and little on action.

“In fact, it is a repeat of not only last year’s budget and the mid-year statement, but it is nothing new with nothing of material substance.

“Again the PLP government failed to live up to the 10,000 jobs they promised and the mortgage relief programme,” he said.

“The reality is that the economy is still sluggish and GDP growth is lower than expected. It is 0.7 per cent versus the 2.5 per cent projected in the 2013/2014 budget, a dismal failure on the part of this government or wilful deceit of the Bahamian people and external agencies.

“Unemployment remains unacceptably high, crime and the fear of crime remain high and now seems to be spreading to Freeport and the Family Islands – an indication of the high levels of unemployment.”

Mr Turnquest also criticised the government for “double taxing” the Bahamian people by introducing Value Added Tax in January 2015 without lowering the cost of customs duties simultaneously.

He said: ”With the introduction of VAT, customs duties will not be reduced until possibly in July of 2015. That means that there will be a period of double taxation between January and July of 2015.

“Again that is very, very significant for us to bear in mind and consider because the cost of living will increase dramatically during that period.

“So I do not know exactly what the thinking is in respect to that.

“One would have thought with the coming in of VAT in January, you would have had a corresponding decrease in the duty rates right away to offset.

“But it seems that the government wants to double down to make up for lost time and that is not fair to the Bahamian people.”

When asked if the FNM has a position on VAT or an alternative form of taxation, Mr Turnquest said the “FNM is not obligated to put forward an alternative”.

However, he said as soon as the party is “comfortable” with the information that is being provided to them by the private sector, they will “put forward a position”.

Comments

Publius 5 years, 3 months ago

“FNM is not obligated to put forward an alternative”. Well that about says it all now doesn't it?

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 3 months ago

NO, BUT THEY COULD GIVE AN ALTERNATIVE SUMMARY OF WHAT THEIR FOCUS POINTS WOULD HAVE BEEN vs PLP PLAN

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The_Oracle 5 years, 3 months ago

Hubert started this ball rolling, the PLP as usual take years to realize they have possession! The IMF umpire is watching as are the rating agencies.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 3 months ago

NOTICE HOW DON'T HEAR THE FNM CALLING FOR A MUCH NEEDED SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT........DAS 'CAUSE D'ESE 'ERE SET O' FNM AIN'T NO DIFFERENT DEN DA PLP!

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 3 months ago

Helloooooooooooooo............ the people didnot like FNM economics...... thats why we are here. The PLP promised a (better) alternative............. and here we are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Demand MORE from your present PLP government ........ dont compare the past

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 3 months ago

sheeprunner12 sounding more and more like AGM who has always condescendingly viewed Bahamian voters as lost sheep beholden to the ruling political elite.

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 3 months ago

No sir, just an island boy who has survived the vices of the Pindling era

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Cobalt 5 years, 3 months ago

Why y'all mad at sheeprunner12 for speaking the truth??? The PLP came to power with all types of promises! Now that they can't deliver on those promises, their only recourse seems to be pointing the finger at the FNM. Do what you promised Perry!!! And stop diverting the attention from your own haplessness and incompetence by blaming the FNM government!! You're in the drivers seat now!! Shut up and drive!!

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Cobalt 5 years, 3 months ago

The Bahamian public made their position known during the 2012 general elections when the ousted the FNM. The general concession was that Hubert Ingraham was not sensitive to the immediate concerns of the everyday Bahamian while much of the working class seemed to be foreigners. The list of grievances regarding the FNM went on for days! They were well documented and have all been addressed. So when is the PLP going to actually absolve the former government and get on with the business of carrying out their promises??? The blame game is old news!!! The PLP told the voting public that they had solutions!! Where are the solutions that they promised??? They've been pointing the finger for two years now!

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 3 months ago

Hubert Ingraham did some dumb bone-headed things but........... he is no where as incapable as Perry and his merry-men ............... they are just WUTLESS

Sad to say................ there is no viable alternative right now.............. where is LBT?????

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Reality_Check 5 years, 3 months ago

PLP or FNM - same difference. These two parties consistently put forward brain dead greedy career politicians because the equally brain dead greedy individuals who are behind their organizational and fund raising apparatus are better able to continue plundering and pillaging the poor voters who they have hood winked into believing there is a difference between voting PLP or FNM. Truth be told, both of these parties are rife with corruption and their failed policies can only result in the Bahamas being run right into the ground at which time a very angry impoverished Bahamian people will finally wake up and exact their pound of flesh from all of those who have been unjustly enriched (whether directly or indirectly) through the corrupt activities of these two parties. History has seen this happen time and time again in other third world countries that have gone down the path we are being taken by a corrupt rigged two-party political system.

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 3 months ago

Reality............... we are stuck with a two-party system ........ like it or not. This is not Israel or India ............ no coalitions in sight right now

Soooooooooooo, we just need to push for a more accountable system of representative government and more forward thinking politicians

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