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Lloyd: Threats Won’T Stop Us From Doing The Right Thing

Jeff Lloyd, Minister of Education. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

Jeff Lloyd, Minister of Education. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd proclaimed yesterday threats of an election loss will not impede the government from making “gutsy” decisions, insisting he would put saving the country ahead of risking defeat at the polls.

In a sometimes emotionally charged speech to Parliament, the South Beach MP addressed critics who have maintained the Minnis administration could lose political traction over its 2018-2019 budget, which features a value added tax increase among other things.

Responding, Mr Lloyd said the country’s credit card has been “maxed out”, leaving the country in a “precarious state of disaster”.

Before insisting the country has “not a single cent to spare”, the minister revealed a handheld electronic “pocket book” showing a highlight video of his ministry’s plans moving forward. It also showcases a newly composed theme song “I Believe”.

The device was handed out to members of Parliament, senators and reporters.

This “pocket book” along with the production and editing of the video cost the ministry nearly $7,000 to produce, Mr Lloyd later told The Tribune.

“You cannot threaten me about no next election, let me just make sure you understand that,” Mr Lloyd said in the House of Assembly. “You can’t threaten me. And I don’t think you could threaten this side. We didn’t come here to worry about no election. Elections will take care of themselves.

“Us and our children and our grandchildren have to live here. We have nowhere to go.

“I would rather lose an election any day than to lose my Bahamas. So, waste your time not threatening me about no election. I am here to rescue the Commonwealth of the Bahamas as I have been doing all my life,” Mr Lloyd said.

“They heard what I said. You ain’t gonna hear nothing more from them (on the side opposite) for the next five years,” Mr Lloyd also said.

“Let me be clear, this side, we ain’t tired of politics. We are servants. We came to serve and lend to the benefit of the people our gifts talents and abilities. At any time the sovereign power of this country, which happens to be the people, can decide whether they want that service or not,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Mr Lloyd said the country was vulnerable and susceptible to external shocks or to severe economic downturn. He said the opposition party had struggled to justify the actions of the former Christie administration between 2012 and 2017.

“We have listened to the responses. We have listened to the commentary. Nowhere have I heard from the side opposite or the armchair pundits elsewhere any credible refutation, any legitimate disproof of the precarious state financial state that this country is in, nowhere.

“Not one contrary viewpoint about the legacy debts of $360m. Not a single disputing word about our growing debt-to-GDP ratio. Not a single contrast to the position taken by this government.”

Mr Lloyd also said: “The unpalatable, unpardonable, unvarnished truth is simply this: we have maxed out our credit card. We have not a single cent to spare and the country is sitting at a precarious state of disaster from which if not some serious and gutsy decision is not made today, we are over that precipice from which there is no return.

“As the deputy prime minister said or is reported to have said in the newspaper, we are one (hurricane) away from disaster.

“I have lunch vendors in this country who provide lunch for our beautiful young people that haven’t been paid for months. Who are these lunch vendors? They are our grandmothers and godmothers and aunts. Some of them have been brought near to the point of financial ruin because they have had to go on month after month after month without being paid.

“I have contractors from last year June and July who worked last year, did school repairs. We managed to pay them in May of this year. There is simply no money in the bank,” he said.

Mr Lloyd also announced free enrolment to the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).

Comments

proudloudandfnm 3 days, 17 hours ago

Increasing taxes on an already overtaxed poor people aint exactly genius bro....

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 days, 17 hours ago

I agree that the current regressive taxation regime is unfair and therefore unsuitable. But any effort at this point in time to replace it with a progressive income tax regime of the kind found in more developed countries would be like putting dynamite in the hands of young children. For decades now our successive spendthrift governments have demonstrated that they are simply not responsible enough to oversee the implementation and administration of a progressive income tax regime. This is mainly due to the failed two party political system we have been saddled with for the past 25 years or so whereby incompetent imbeciles are typically nominated to run for elected office, and competent, honest and hardworking Bahamians are for most part not inclined to get involved in active politics. Adopting a progressive tax regime without first fixing our failed two party political system would likely trigger 'a flight to safety' of almost all of our country's foreign-owned and domestic-owned financial capital, essentially resulting in the halting of all FDI, the depletion of our foreign currency reserves, and the destruction of the Bahamian dollar over night. Most Bahamians are too young to remember just how bad Jamaicans had it in their country for the longest time, when they could not even buy toilet paper or tooth paste. And now years later Jamaica still bears the terrible economic and social scarring from the hellish ordeal they went through for decades.

For the time being a 10% VAT with no exemptions could work, but only if accompanied by sustained belt tightening aimed at significantly (and painfully) reducing the size of our grossly over-bloated public services sector by as much as one-third or more over the next two to three years at most. Minnis and his cabinet should therefore be working overtime to create an environment conducive to significant private sector job growth. But the 2019/20 budget does vey little if anything to encourage private sector job growth - many would argue it in fact does the opposite.

And of course the scourge of the criminal empires run by the numbers bosses would have to be dealt with, in large part through much higher taxation then even currently proposed and by the establishment of a completely tax-free national lottery initially operated by reputable and seasoned foreign lottery experts from Canada or the U.S.

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Honestman 2 days, 12 hours ago

I agree with 100% of your post.

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TalRussell 3 days, 17 hours ago

Ma Comrades, the 91,409 voting in 35 red shirts candidates as MP's red shirts on 10th May 2017 - don't need no handheld electronic “pocket book” showing a highlight whats in their mind's video of Imperial red shirts cabinet's plans move children's education backwards.Their mind's also showcases a newly composed theme song “We the 91,409. Don't Believe a Tear, nor a Word." Apparently, at least two of ministers cabinet colleagues, found enough time their busy days be making calls each other with prosecution of a PLP mindset.... Now, if minister Brent stood to cry - that would be theater.

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sheeprunner12 3 days, 16 hours ago

Lloyd should be more concerned about the 30% graduation rate in public high schools.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 days, 15 hours ago

Most shockingly, it's now actually less than 20% for Bahamian male students!

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licks2 3 days, 14 hours ago

YOU HAVE THE WRONG MINISTER FOR THAT BLUNDER. . .IT WAS HARD HEADED JF WHO REFUSED TO LISTEN TO HIS EXPERTS WHEN THEY TOLD HIM AND HIS CRONIES THAT THEIR NATIONAL STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM WILL CAUSE THE "DIP" IN THE GRADUATION RATES. . .

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birdiestrachan 3 days, 16 hours ago

Shame on the former deacon soon to be former member of Parliament. If his mouth is open he is telling lies. The man does not know right from wrong. Did he spend 7000 to make a useless video.? I hope he used his own money,"

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birdiestrachan 3 days, 16 hours ago

Why is he wasting the ministry money like that when there is so much suffering among poor black people over the Hill $7000 could have been better spent and he talks about miss management. God has left him to himself. to talk utter foolishness and disgrace himself. Bahamians will loose all respect for him

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DonAnthony 3 days, 15 hours ago

Should have taken the $7,000 and paid the lunch vendors.

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bogart 3 days, 15 hours ago

,....Threats.....????

In all fairness how does the Minister of Education not know that the pore Bahamian citizens are the ones who feel threatened ....when dey is cant get dere child in govt school ....cause govt policies is to provide free education to all children of illegal migrants .......aint no matter how many a dem.....even without papers....law abiding Bahamians population following the laws paying building permit paying full rent whichin include vat costs to build apt and VAT goin to pay fer building schools.....and dey living in illegal shanty town polluting causing more money to clean.....how does the Minister think pore Bahamians dont feel threatened...???

An noe after Tribune artivle Monday June 11, 2018 by Denise Maycock '$2.5 bn in VAT income - yet debt went up' 'The government has collected some $2.5bn in value added tax revenue since 2015, according to Finance Minister Peter Turnquest .....former Christie administration of mismanaging the money.'

Pore people ...of all people...will tell you that why make me pay and yinna mismamage what you force me to pay you....an admit ot mismanage...and do notton bout it....an now want me to pay in the nrxt 2018 to 2022.....another $2.5 plus bn.....and on top more money increase VAT by almost double....????.... Time our Prime Minister Roc wid Doc step in and calm tings down. People supports him cause dey knows tings done bad.

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TheMadHatter 3 days, 14 hours ago

Mr. Lloyd must read TheMadHatter's comment regularly. Good for him.

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TalRussell 3 days, 13 hours ago

Comrade Lloyd somehow decided over the unpaid bills Lunch Vendors that he could spare lots more than just a penny produce propaganda video for personal viewing entertainment pleasuring other 34 Imperial red shirts MP's. { You don't have makes up how easily Comrade minister was prompted takes Seven Hundred Thousands Pennies, propagandize darnedest things "I Alone does Believe" production video higher priority than paying unpaid
Lunch Vendors }. Man has have American Revolutionary War Cannon sized Balls, used by the British, for Balls stands up House expecting, and receiving red MP's cheers, spending Seven Hundred Thousands Pennies..... all whilst the Speaker, again F---- MP Glenys head }.

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joeblow 3 days, 12 hours ago

I want to know if he was wearing Depends when he made these comments!

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John 3 days, 5 hours ago

jeff lloyd was always a card carrying uncle tommy, but yes we will make july 19, 2018 official preturn to the plantation day, rather than make us work under the pretense that we are free and can achieve something, we willsign up to return to the plantations and live of chitlings and collard greens (hogs guts and chaff( and chicken and pig foots. rather dan seeing our sons and daughters shot down and slaughtered in the streets even by police who mercilessly pump eighteen rounds of hot lead in him, mostly while his back was turned, we will return to the plantations and work for free. may God almighty have mercy on your souls,,,how long O Lord , how long?

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John 3 days, 5 hours ago

first they killed you if you negroids learned to read or right, now they kills you if you learns to take one dollar and make it too. imagine if you try to make it tree or fore, poor tiger woods

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Socrates 2 days, 16 hours ago

Lloyd is right. this is the true test of gov't. are you going to buckle to pressure or hold the course? since we all know the debt situation, seems to me the choice is clear.

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