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Minnis Tells Pm To Be A Man And Bring Equality Referendum

Dr Hubert Minnis in the House of Assembly.

Dr Hubert Minnis in the House of Assembly.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday castigated Prime Minister Perry Christie, saying he needed to “be a man” and do his job in passing the four bills in the House of Assembly which are needed to advance the referendum to amend the country’s Constitution.

During an impassioned contribution to the 2015/2016 budget debate, Dr Minnis painted a grim picture of the state of the country under the leadership of a “mean,” “heartless” and “cruel” Christie administration.

In his nearly two-hour long speech, Dr Minnis sought to poke holes in several of the government’s initiatives, saying it had failed across the board.

His communication in the House of Assembly prompted several government MPs to stand on points of order to refute the FNM leader’s claims.

“Be a man and bring the bills,” Dr Minnis said as he touched on the government’s failure to advance the gender equality referendum.

“What are you afraid of?” If it were me I would take my licks.”

On Sunday, Constitutional Commission Chairman Sean McWeeney said he has not been given any indication of when the proposed referendum on gender equality might be held, despite the committee being “just about finished” with its public education campaign and Family Island consultations.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Perry Christie had indicated he did not want to delay the vote any further and hoped to hold it by June.

However, up to press time, a firm date for the vote had not been announced.

Regarding value added tax (VAT), Dr Minnis repeated his party’s pledge to repeal VAT on breadbasket items. He said despite the government praising a smooth VAT rollout, implementing the tax was disrespectful to poor Bahamians.

“How could this Christie administration be so mean as to put a VAT tax on a loaf of bread, a tin of corned beef and on all of the bread basket items we in the FNM made tax free? It is a crying shame that old age pensioners struggling financially in their golden years are forced to give back $7.50 out of every $100 that they receive monthly to pay VAT.

“Thousands of Bahamians are going to bed tonight in the dark without light and water because they are unable to afford the high costs of electricity or pay the water bill and yet this uncaring PLP government has added the VAT tax of 7.5 per cent to an already high utility bill.”

He added: “This is wrong, this is heartless, and this is cruel. An FNM government will repeal VAT on bread basket items, all baby and children’s clothing, electricity, water, all health coverage and insurance.”

Dr Minnis also accused the government of constantly waging war on democracy. This he said was evident in the House Speaker Dr Kendal Major’s order to the Public Accounts Committee to cease investigations of Urban Renewal 2.0’s Small Homes Repair Programme.

However, Dr Major interjected saying the government had no hand in his ruling which was made several weeks ago.

The rate of youth unemployment, the government’s newly announced project to build 1,000 homes, the Freedom of Information Act, the Stronger Bahamas campaign and National Health Insurance were also points which drew criticism from Dr Minnis.

Following his extensive negative review of the Christie administration’s three years in office, Dr Minnis made a pitch for his party and a government under his leadership.

He said: “We in the FNM are moving forward together for a new and better Bahamas. Bahamians everywhere come join the movement as we build the momentum to FNM victory 2017.”

Dr Minnis said under his administration, the FNM would focus on land reform, inner city tax free zones, energy reform, VAT-free days in August and a recall system for non-functioning and dysfunctional members of Parliament among other things.

Comments

birdiestrachan 2 years, 5 months ago

Never mind over the top Doctor Minnis he knows that bill will not pass. He will not repeal VAT just give VAT free days. if VAT is so bad why not just repeal it. He and his party voted against VAT. Why when the bill was being passed did he not mention VAT free days. I Trust no one will trust Minnis, he forgot that he stood on the house floor and voted for the sale of BTC to the English, he was there when his Leader said No Bahamians need apply. Now he has all of the love for Bahamians. Not to mention the road works Those were real money. and it would have meant much for Bahamians. Now he talks about small things.

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shortpants 2 years, 5 months ago

All Bahamians for sure better be glad the roads was fixed ,because right now we are counting murder like the days off the week .Trust me when I say this had the roads stayed the same ,we would be counting murders by the hour .BTC had more employees than most government corporation or maybe more ,because my MP sent me there. Trust me if any government would take the task off cleaning out all the dump,lazy,useless workers who give you that job my MP,we in the Bahamas would not have needed VAT put on us .Birdie you have the big yallow stain all over you can't even see,hear nor think straight .

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 5 months ago

Wow! A medical doctor shouting for VAT to be taken off a most unhealthy tin of corned beef rather than items like very healthy unfrozen fruits and vegetables, and nuts. One can only assume that is one doctor who does not give a flying XXXX about the health of Bahamians and their rising healthcare costs! No matter how hard he tries, it sure does seem poor Dr. Minnis cannot keep his head screwed on straight.

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SP 2 years, 5 months ago

.......... FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis Needs "To Man Up" And Demand A FOIA ..............

Talking fool is very serious thing! GET RELEVANT!

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