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Opposition Dismisses Claim Of Fiscal ‘Mismanagement’

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

The Opposition’s leader yesterday dismissed suggestions that the former Christie administration’s failure to hit its deficit targets was as a result of fiscal “mismanagement”.

Responding to the 2017-2018 Budget Communication, Philip Davis said Hurricane Matthew had resulted in some $200 million in lost revenue, resulting in the former government overshooting its $100 million full-year deficit target.

“It is not mismanagement at all,” added Mr Davis, noting that he combination of increased spending to fix public infrastructure and repair homes, as well as lost taxes, caused the Christie administration to miss its GFS deficit target.

Finance Minister, K Peter Turnquest, yesterday said the GFS deficit for 2016-2017 is projected at $500 million, up from the $100 million forecast by the Christie administration.

Mr Davis, meanwhile, said the Opposition also took exception to suggestions that contracts issued just before the 2017 general election were “deals”.

Suggesting that many contracts would have been “in train” up to two years, Mr Davis asserted that the Free National Movement (FNM) had made wild promises based on a lack of understanding of the economy and now had to “face reality”.

“The FNM is seeking to provide a false narrative to provide a cover for the fact that they cannot live up to what they promised in the general election. We again urge them to be extremely careful how they talk down this economy so that they do not make the last state worse than the first. The fact is the Government is the largest spender in this economy. If the Government contracts its spending, then the economy of this country gets into deep trouble. We again say to the Government; be very careful,” said Mr Davis.

He also expressed disappointment that the Minnis administration was rolling back the Grand Bahama (Port Area) Investment Incentives Act. “We also heard nothing for Grand Bahama except to repeal the present Act, which provides incentives to the businesses in Grand Bahama. Grand Bahama is in urgent need of an economic infusion and not talk of repeal,” Mr Davis said.

“When you look dispassionately at the Budget statement, you will discover that the statement reveals - and is an admission - that the fundamentals of our economy were prudently managed and a solid foundation laid for growth.”

Comments

The_Oracle 4 years, 11 months ago

The Dis-incentives Act? Thank god it is gone, It singularly provided for Government Meddling and "cherry picking" the recipients of Benefits. And this Statement: "If the Government contracts its spending, then the economy of this country gets into deep trouble. We again say to the Government; be very careful,” said Mr Davis." has got to be the stupidest thing said in quite a while! Government is the single largest detractor/subtractor/saboteur of the Economy! Taxing and then giving handouts is not economic activity!

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