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Roberts: Why Spend Money On Trip But Not On Independence Celebrations?

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PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts yesterday unfavourably contrasted the Minnis administration's budget cut for the recent independence celebrations with the cost of a trip a government delegation took to Grenada for the Caribbean Community's heads of government meeting.

"I'm waiting to find out exactly how many people (went on the trip)," Mr Roberts said. "They cut (the) budget for independence that embraced all the people of The Bahamas because (Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis) said they lacked resources. On the other hand, he took a huge delegation with him to Grenada. His heart is not in the right place."

The budget for the 44th independence anniversary was slashed by about $900,000, placing the budget at an estimated $100,000 after the Christie administration spent about $1m in 2016 and $1.1m in 2015.

Despite the cut, the traditional Clifford Park tattoo drew positive reviews from many Bahamians who praised its production.

The exact size of the Minnis administration's delegation to Grenada is not clear. Although in addition to Dr Minnis, those who went on the trip included his wife Patricia Minnis, Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield, Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd, CARICOM ambassador Reuben Rahming, director general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sharon Brennen-Haylock, policy advisor to the Prime Minister Joshua Sears and an unidentified number of security guards among others.

While in opposition, the Free National Movement (FNM) repeatedly criticised former Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell and former Prime Minister Perry Christie for their travel expenses.

At one point, Dr Minnis described their traveling habits as "extravagant." He demanded that the former prime minister inform Bahamians about the cost of the administration's travel.

After officials in the Christie administration went on a trip to Rome and London, Dr Minnis said in the House of Assembly in 2014: "I demand that the prime minister keep his public pledge to provide an accounting for his extravagant international travel during which he treated an excessively large delegation to a tour of Rome and London."

Last month, Mr Henfield said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would restructure itself to eliminate unnecessary spending, especially on travel.

"We do not have to attend every meeting that takes place across the globe," Mr Henfield said at the time.

Anthony Newbold, the prime minister's press secretary, has said that a policy of the new government is that people who attend foreign workshops and conferences must, upon return, file a report about the event or be barred from state-funded trips.

Comments

BahamasForBahamians 2 years, 9 months ago

Hypocrites.

Travel is only good for The FNM.

The disrespect these guys are having for the Bahamian populace is ridiculous.

Its like they are throwing middle fingers at all the campaign promises they made. How ridiculous.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 9 months ago

Please give Brad the Budget details that you shared with me ............ BOL

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sealice 2 years, 9 months ago

Come on Freddy if you support Brad's ravings then you are really as dumb as he is and that is an "honorary" degree you received literally and figuratively dumbars.....

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themessenger 2 years, 9 months ago

Notice you and Bad Brad don't have any problem with the government(aka FNM) blowing $50,000 of the peoples money on a funeral for B J Nottage??? Wonder which funeral home getting this plum? You could be damned sure it ain Kemp or Pinder.

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Required 2 years, 9 months ago

And probably not Butler's either.

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B_I_D___ 2 years, 9 months ago

...actually I think I saw in an earlier article that BJ was returned to Nassau and into the hands of Butler's...

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Alex_Charles 2 years, 9 months ago

Im tired of this political shit. Who gives a crap. I just want my country fixed and this fiscal situation turned around. I don't care what any of these geriatric alleged rapists have to say. Red or gold they can all go to hell. This is about country not party.

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mangogirl01 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure BR bit his tongue speaking crap! He never worried about the cost of trips and bodies going when Perry travelled taking up to 20 persons with him and travelling first class. Your time has past BR so shut the hell up and sit small! Better still ride off into the sunset and be gone, the Bahamian people don't give a crap and don't wanna hear shit from you!

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DDK 2 years, 9 months ago

No travel for politicians until they can figure out a way to keep the power on, bring crime under control, ensure schools and hospitals functioning properly, pot holes filled and affordable groceries in the stores.

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JustSo 2 years, 9 months ago

Shut the hell up dumb-butt Bradley! You PLP pirates threw away the peoples money like there was no tomorrow, now you standing around pretending to have sense!!

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alfalfa 2 years, 9 months ago

I repeat. Why is this political has been, hot air buffoon still given press coverage. Especiallyby the Tribune. The only adjective I can think of without profanity is idiot.

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B_I_D___ 2 years, 9 months ago

Here is a novel concept...let's do things that may improve the countries situation, like attending a regional heads of government meeting for CARICOM, instead of blowing money on an overinflated party budget...don't get me wrong, we need to 'celebrate' our independence (maybe), but let's not just waste money on parties...oh wait...that's the way the PLP operates...throw the people a party and distract them from crap governance...

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killemwitdakno 2 years, 8 months ago

Privitize the Independence Day celebrations.

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