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Plp ‘Diverted $40m To Buy Last Election’

Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest.

Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Minnis Administration suspects the Christie Administration spent more than $40 million of hurricane relief funds in a failed bid to buy the election, Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest said yesterday.

He was responding to Exuma and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper who said in a statement over the weekend that Mr Turnquest was irresponsible for saying the government cannot locate $42 million of the $150 million the Christie Administration borrowed following Hurricane Matthew last year. Mr Turnquest had made that revelation in Parliament last week. 

In a statement yesterday, Mr Turnquest said: “The PLP government, we suspect, obtained a resolution to borrow $150 million on hurricane relief but instead diverted $40 million plus of that sum for unauthorized expenditure on any number of things in an ultimately vain effort to buy an election win. And while that money most likely went to their cronies and other wasteful spending, it is the Bahamian people who are now stuck with the bill!”

This comment came after Mr Turnquest rejected the idea that he accused the Christie Administration in Parliament last week of stealing or misappropriating the hurricane relief money that is unaccounted for.

“It is a simple fact that the Ministry of Finance was able to tie approximately $108 million directly to hurricane expenses but we were unable to say at that date how the balance of $42 million was spent or if those funds were absorbed into the consolidated fund and spent to cover usual bills as suggested by the opposition, which was not the stated purpose of the borrowing,” he said. “To suggest that I stated (in Parliament last week) that the money was stolen, misappropriated or went missing is deceitful and entirely misleading.”

Mr Cooper called in a statement over the weekend for the government to better clarify its upward revision of the deficit for 2016/2017. The deficit has been revised upwards from the initial projection of $500m to $695 million.

“With respect to the fiscal deficit,” Mr Turnquest said yesterday, “I have explained the difference between actual cash basis reporting and a projection, which is inherently based upon judgment considering known facts.  

“If this concept is unclear to the Opposition then they will have bigger problems going forward.  As to where the money came from to pay those bills, the Opposition should recall the borrowing resolution they helped pass just a few short months ago to cover these expenses.”

Comments

realfreethinker 1 week ago

Tribune can you please update your file photo. LBT is no longer in the HOA.

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sheeprunner12 1 week ago

That is only the tip of the crooked PLP iceberg

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John 1 week ago

At some point the FNM is going to have to stop crying over spilled milk (especially of the PLP) and get to governing the country and especially getting the economy moving and people employed. No one alive doubts the corruption, mismanagement, dishonesty and desperation of the PLP but you cannot spend most of your five years in office crying about them. Better get some effective plans in motion (even as you cry and reveal the PLP's dirty deeds). because Bahamians quickly grow impatient. And guess what? Christmas coming.

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licks2 2 days, 6 hours ago

Mr John. . .I beg you to tell us how the hell anybody will get this nation or any other with the degree of corruption to get any economic action going? The national economic foundation is so compromised with a systemic corruption that no new initiatives will survive with out a through cleaning of the system of commence! So stop talking stupidity and use that round thing on top of your shoulder!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week ago

This bozo of a Minister of Finance really needs to think before he speaks, assuming he has sufficient enough grey matter upstairs to do so. He cannot say out of one side of his mouth that he did not accuse the Christie Administration of stealing or misappropriating the hurricane relief money that is unaccounted for, and then immediately turn around and say out the other side of his mouth that the Christie administration diverted $40 million plus for unauthorized expenditure on any number of things in an ultimately vain effort to buy an election win.

It is also astonishing to hear K P Turnquest (supposedly a professional accountant) claim that he cannot trace the $40 million plus that he suspects was paid into the consolidated fund of the Public Treasury. A straight forward forensic accounting exercise (often referred to as 'following the cash') should have quickly revealed whether or not the $40 million plus was paid into the consolidated fund; accordingly, there should have been no need whatsoever for K P to "suspect" that it had or had not been paid into the consolidated fund.

Because the consolidated fund is an homogenous pool of funds, obviously if the $40 million plus had indeed been paid into it then it would have been difficult (if not impossible) to trace the same $40 million plus having been paid out of it. That's just common sense! It is an entirely separate matter (and equally easy forensic accounting exercise) for K P Turnquest to say whether sums totaling $40 million plus were subsequently paid out of the consolidated fund to cronies and wasteful spending aimed at 'buying' votes for PLP candidates in the last general election.

Truth be told, K P Turnquest should not have to suspect anything, unless he is indeed a grossly incompetent professional accountant. The people are interested in knowing the facts of the matter and not his convenient conjecture about what did or did not happen for the purpose of him scoring cheap political points with those less au fait about accounting generally. As Minister of Finance, K P Turnquest is tasked with giving us the facts - we could not care less about his disingenuous conjecturing for the purpose muddling matters to score cheap political points!

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stillwaters 1 week ago

I think I have had enough of these reports of the underhandedness of the PLP. I voted against them , so I know the crap they got up to. I want the FNM to report on their own progress. And, by the way......bigggg issue, how much VAT money yall already collected and what are yall,the FNM, doing with it. That's what I want to know.

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stillwaters 1 week ago

Getting impatient with this party too.

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John 1 week ago

The Trump styled method of governance putting everything in the press blow by blow is sickening.

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bogart 1 week ago

I actually did raise the point as to where was the loyal Oueens Opposition who are now the present elected govt sitting across the table. Mind you I have heard the new DPM raise good points when previous budgets were discussed in the House.

It is extremely baffling as to why questions of to date missing monies are being queried 5 months after elections.

5 months to trace missing 42 million? No one subpeoned? Questioned, removed fron the offices concerned?

Extremely Tardy, aand embarrassingly shameful for a global financial centre dealing with money matters that its owm minister is still looking to find 42 million and noone hauled off to be questioned or charged with obstruction or incompetance.

Tired of seeing all tax payers money spent in parliament for this, then look again at what the IMF has to say. At least listen and go to the white people for help, after all dont the Bahamian lawyer with their hairy falsr white wigs after finishing and graduating school in England still have to go back to the Privy counsil to make decisions? Mind you I think it still has to do with the politicians not making the decisions since 1973.

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BahamaPundit 1 week ago

Keep it coming FNM. Let's get the facts though. We need evidence. My feeling is that Turnquest realizes that the entire PLP cabinet must be prosecuted for this theft, and he is hesitant because it may cause the PLP to riot.

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sheeprunner12 1 week ago

The problem with our fiscal system is that everything goes into the "black hole" of the Treasury .......Based on the competency and efficiency levels of the civil service, who can keep track of government revenue and expenditure with the amount of red tape and files involved??????

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Sickened 1 week ago

This is embarrassing! Are they ever going to pass a piece of legislation??? WHY SO MUCH TALKING AND BLAMING?????? Let's get this train moving... PLEASE!!!!!

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licks2 2 days, 6 hours ago

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. . .what a bunch of dumb people yinna proving to be? THE TRAIN DONE GONE BLOWING AHEAD OF YALL SIMPLETONS. . . THE GOVERNMENT EEN "CHECKING FER YALL" AROUND HERE TALKING DUMB STUFF. . .THEY CLEARING UP THE GLUTS AND CORRUPTION THAT HAD YINNA DOWNGRADED 4 TIMES! EVEN SOME OF YINNA BUSINESS PEOPLES DEM TALKING CRAP LIKE "GOVERNMENT NEED TO GET THINGS GOING. . .FOR WE TO GET TO MAKE SOME MONEY! Hahahahahahahahahaha. . .government is to get the "playing field" clear for yinna to get yinna lazy tails and go-to-it. . .the government is now "cleaning out" the glut and corruptions that prevent forward economic movements! I believe that's why politicians them can "swing" yall so easy. . .everybody have their hands out. . ."fix things" for we. . .while the overseas investors use their minds and come here and "work" yinna out of every thing! ALL ER YINNA SITTING ON YINNA TAILS AND "BEGGING" THE GOVERNMENT TO "FIX YINNA UP". OUR ECONOMY IS NOT OUR GOVERNMENT. . .IT IS YINNA LAZY PEOPLES DEM. . .THEY MOVING THE CLOGS IN THE FLOW OF THE ECONOMY. . .THEY CAN'T SWIM FOR YINNA TOO!

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Believer 1 week ago

All he said was that the Government cannot account for about $42million of hurricane relief money. That is very suspcious don't you think? Investigations take time and are necessary for good governance and proper management of tax revenue. The Government is cleaning house and rebuilding behind the scenes but you dont see it and dont want to see it.

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DWW 6 days, 6 hours ago

i cannot agree with this statement in any way. 5 months is plenty of time, unless you are hiding something, or don't really want to find teh answer

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licks2 2 days, 6 hours ago

I GEE WITH YINNA. . .GOOD THING WE HAVE A SHERIFF LIKE THE GOOD DOC. . .STUPIDITY DON'T MOVE HIM. . .

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John 1 week ago

Remember when Batak Obama was on vacation and out of the country. That is the most time in his life Donald Trump ever called his name. Accusing Obama of trying to sabotage his presidency and causing Isis to become so powerful among other things. Now Obama is back and you hardly hear a peep. Especially since Trump has spent millions trying to repeal Obamacare unsuccessfully. Get the economy moving FNM and reduce crime

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SP 1 week ago

Newcomer Exuma and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper stupidly set himself up to be thoroughly bludgeoned out of relevance with his vain attempt to defend indefensible acts of larceny perpetrated by Pillage Loot Plunder before his emergence to the scene of the crimes. Cooper needs to sit back, STFU, and stop looking for brownie points.

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest and the Minnis administration is 100% absolutely correct in firstly reporting to "THE ELECTORATE" exactly the state of the countries affairs prior to announcing any plans, corrective measures, pending investigations and procecutions thereof.

We the people demanded transparency! It is our right to know where our tax dollars went, why we are in debt and who is to be held accountable!

Alternatively, the present administration will have to assume total responsibility in 2022 for any undisclosed fraud, irregularities, and corruption they met in place in 2017. It is 100% imperative for this administration to clearly articulate to the people "what they found in place" upon assuming power if they are to properly start with a "new slate" and set the stage for 2022.

Anybody blind enough and incapable of comprehending that this new administration is indeed walking, chewing gum, running the country AND tackeling the biggest issues plaguing our country i.e. political corruption, downgrades, shanty towns, gambleing simultaineously, simply choose to refuse to accept reality.

PM Sheriff Minnis is running a tight ship never before experienced in living memory of any admistration. The suspense of not having ears and eyes in government is causing major headaches for people used to "access to information" through PLP & FNM slackness!

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Sickened 6 days, 8 hours ago

The cabinet only meets once or twice a week. They shouldn't be spending ALL of their time, still now, talking about the wreck that the PLP left. Part of every meeting should be spent planning the road ahead and executing fixes to the system. For example a normal meeting would be... we found this issue back in June and after vigorous auditing there is no trace of $40 million being spent although received; this is our proposal to fix this problem and to make sure it never happens again; discuss the proposal and other suggestions and then pass the drafted legislation if there are no changes to it. BAM! One issue solved. Next meeting do it again!

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TalRussell 1 week ago

Comrades! When will 'KP' actually stand before the media to confirm an accomplishment by his regime? He that is without a single ministerial accomplishment among yourselves, let him/her not first cast a stone at others.
I think the crown's ministers within the red shirts cabinet - care little about how the borrowed $150 million in hurricane relief funds were spent - than they do with media grandstanding. I guess when you keep raising your fists in the air to avoid talking about kEY 2017 campaign promises made to voters - you'll talk just about anything else which 'ACE' thinks needs shouting out at?

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birdiestrachan 1 week ago

Mr: Turnquest is contradicting himself. he said to suggest that I stated in parliament last week that the money was stolen, Misappropriated or went missing is deceitful and misleading then the FNM in the person of Turnquest say they suspects the 40 million went to buy the election. Would he not say This is the as misappropriating

These fellows are telling to many lies. Lies won them the election. The Bahamian people will soon be tired of the lies. I am beginning to feel sorrow for them and their constant blunders.

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Bonefishpete 1 week ago

Spent 40 Mil and Still didn't Win? Damn

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BONEFISH 6 days, 23 hours ago

Please Mr.Turnquest , if you have any evidence of criminal wrong doing, turn the evidence over to the police.Let them investigate the matter and present the findings to the attorney general. The attorney general will decide whether to prosecute the individuals.Let these people have their day in court We need to get on with the governance of this country. The election is over. By the way since you seem to be a novice in these matters, let some veteran politicians tell you the various schemes that have been done to win elections in this country.

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Baha10 6 days, 22 hours ago

"If" there is evidence, prosecute the entire prior Cabinet, but either way, need to focus on the Economy, otherwise, whether who is guilty or otherwise to blame will be irrelevant. The Election Result was a Vote of Desperation by the Majority and that same Majority are now more desperate than we were in May, so please, please focus, otherwise we are doomed, if not already.

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John 6 days, 15 hours ago

If someone hands you a bag of money and says go in it and pick out all the $1, $5, and $10.00 notes and they should total $150 million. That is your hurricane relief money. The money the government borrowed specifically for that purpose. So you pick out the notes, as instructed but they only total $108 million. So your hurricane relief money is short. It doesn't mean that that the money isn't there or that it has been stolen outright. It just wasn't used on hurricane relief. So you start to dig in the bag some more separating and counting the $20 notes, the $50 notes and the $100 notes. But you do not find anymore $5, $1 or $10 notes. So you can confidently conclude that the full $150 million was not spent on hurricane relief and since it is no longer there it must have been spent on something else. Like try to buy an election. The McCartney guy sounded so silly on the radio yesterday trying to rip into and discredit the minister of finance because he did not grasp what the man was trying to say. Then you must wonder why McCartney became so sensitive and defensive about talks of money 'walking out the treasury.' His words.

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DWW 6 days, 6 hours ago

Agree with most of the commenters. enough grandstanding. Get her done! have evidence or criminal wrong doing, prosecute. if not, move and get going on governance and fix the problems. Move forward not sidways. I'm starting to think that KP and Minnis have something to hide the way there is this continual showboating and diversion.

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