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The Rebel Four: No, No, No, No – Fnm Mps Split From Party On Vat Vote

 

Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine, Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller, Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson and Centreville MP Reece Chipman.

Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine, Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller, Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson and Centreville MP Reece Chipman.

UPDATE: PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has fired Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson and Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller from their posts as parliamentary secretaries today for breach of the Manual of Cabinet and Ministry Procedure – See story HERE.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

FOUR Free National Movement members of Parliament joined the opposition in voting “no” to the bill that would increase value added tax from 7.5 percent to 12 percent last night.

They were Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller, Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine, Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson and Centreville MP Reece Chipman.

The actions of Mr Miller, Mr McAlpine and Mr Robinson came after they were warned that voting against any part of the budget package would create the expectation that they will resign their positions in government, in keeping with the Westminster system of governance.

Last night, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis would not say what would now happen to them. When he wrapped up the debate earlier yesterday, he made an appeal for MPs to support the budget in its entirety.

Mr Robinson, the parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, told The Tribune after the vote: “I said everything I needed to say in my budget speech and I stand by every word of that.”

In his budget speech, Mr Robinson had lamented the impact an increased VAT would have on poor people in his struggling constituency.

Earlier, Mr McAlpine told the press he will not resign as chairman of the Hotel Corporation, adding that Dr Minnis is entitled to fire him if he wishes to do so.

For his part, Mr Chipman said he does not take threats lightly but noted he does not have a government post from which to resign. He was previously fired as chairman of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation. He said he is not concerned that his actions might prevent him from getting a future appointment this term.

Meanwhile, Mr Miller, parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Social Services, said Dr Minnis’ comments earlier yesterday gave him no second thoughts regarding his decision to oppose the increase.

He said there was nothing personal behind his choice, but it merely reflects his desire to serve his constituents.

Several people were absent from yesterday’s vote, including Central and South Abaco MP James Albury, Carmichael MP Desmond Bannister, South Andros MP Picewell Forbes, West End and Grand Bahama MP Pakeisha Edgecombe, Long Island MP Adrian Gibson, Central Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis and Tall Pines MP Don Saunders.

Mr Bannister and Mr Gibson were both out of the country on government business.

All other MPs voted in favour of the bill, except the Speaker of the House who does not cast a vote.

The VAT amendment passed by a vote of 24 to seven.

Comments

joeblow 3 months, 1 week ago

Now all they need to do is organize their respective communities to stand behind them in this fight and they may have a chance, despite their party affiliation in the next election!

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tell_it_like_it_is 3 months, 1 week ago

Well done all of you. I am especially impressed with T. Robinson of Bain Town. He is showing that he has a lot of backbone and is actually trying to work for the community that put him in office.

IMHO it doesn't even matter what Minnis does or tries to do to them. You gentleman have proven that at least on this vote - you will stick to your principles. Here's hoping for more of the same in the future... and what I mean by that is standing up for what you believe is right.
I'm very PROUD of all of you!

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tell_it_like_it_is 3 months, 1 week ago

PS - Why is the Tribune calling them 'Rebels' - for possessing independent thought (and not being sheeple!)

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spoitier 3 months, 1 week ago

A rebel is not necessarily a bad thing, they just rebel against what was propose to them. But I see what you are saying.

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licks2 3 months, 1 week ago

I suggest that you take the time and read and understand before you run off at the mouth. . .perhaps the tribune knows what you don't and will not "talk first and think later". Just think now. . .Travis constituency association do not know about his decision to vote against vat increase? His party was blind-sided by his speech in the HOA. . .yet he says that his community is supporting his decision? What about his FNM constituents? Did he represented their view. . .they voted for him! This sounds just like a power play going on in the FNM. . .perhaps that's why the tribune calls them rebels. . .

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TalRussell 3 months, 1 week ago

Good beginning Comrades of Four Independent thoughts 'elected' MP's.....soon time select colours new t-shirts......let's hope for sake nation this is but day two of a long comradeship in makin'.

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bogart 3 months, 1 week ago

Kudos to those who stand by their convictions to be called to serve the people ....true servants of the people ...standing up in the face of adversity....speaking for the people...their constituents.....whose homes they visited..homes not repaired in years.....saw gut wrenching poverty....physical, mentally challenged....elderly..listened to pleas...people crying for help....actually crying...struggling .chillren graduate no jobs...lil chillren emaciated just like the dogs dat dey playin wid.....somebody working minimum wage...no lights...small lil stove cant buy no gas from the food storecooking outside...barely surviving....some 50 - 75,000 depemding on help....from family friends church......some govt person MP showed up ...first time .....in the past 5 - 10 years........and speaks dere language....

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TalRussell 3 months, 1 week ago

A slap in face Minnis and KP. by (11) their own red shirts MP's!
I hope the four Comrade "Independent Thoughts" MP's Frederick, Vaughan, Travis and Reece don't have meltdown if summoned curtsy before Her Excellency Marguerite... but they still need one more crossover MP from out (7) red shirts MP's who did not support Minnis's and KP's 12% VAT hike, willing crossover the House floor and with independent thoughts... Interesting political times in weeks ahead..... Brave might soon be out his official job acting locally on this side pond on behalf the Queen?

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Greentea 3 months, 1 week ago

now thats a thought....interesting....

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Greentea 3 months, 1 week ago

Is this true? "The actions of Mr Miller, Mr McAlpine and Mr Robinson came after they were warned that voting against any part of the budget package would create the expectation that they will resign their positions in government, in keeping with the Westminster system of governance." Is this the Westminster system??? Doesn't sound right to me. Its probably because we only remember the Westminster system when convenient.

It is absolutely necessary for ministers to vote according to their values and the desires of the people they represent rather than as a party cabal. Threats and consequences of this nature seem "undemocratic".

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DDK 3 months, 1 week ago

So these M.P.'s voted according to their convictions and the wishes of their constituents. Good for them. If they are disciplined by their party, their party will lose support, big time. Seven other MP's abstained, Will they be ostracized? The 24 who voted in favour of the bill sure seemed to be in a hurry to dump more grief on The People. There were many other ways to raise funds but all suggestions fell on deaf ears. All they were worried about was the damn corned beef. Certain elements of our society and the foreigner are cleaning up. I trust the three year gamble will pay off for the 24 who voted for this budget.

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thephoenix562 3 months, 1 week ago

A lt of people are saying there are may other ways to raise funds.which one will we not complain aabout ?

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TalRussell 3 months, 1 week ago

Ma Comrade thePhoenix562, why not ask Minnis and KP, whats other ways should the red shirts government have taken over 12% VAT, to raise government revenue which could have better satisfied working man's and woman's pocketbooks?

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Greentea 3 months, 1 week ago

the other suggestion was income tax. but our middle class politicos didnt like the fact that they would pay more than others - as they should. Moreover using income tax meant that their true income would then be public record, and THAT was too much. Less room for lies. So VAT was the least personally and politically invasive and passed the burden on to everyone, including those who can least afford it. Let that sink in.

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licks2 3 months, 1 week ago

Or tell us about for that matter. . .plenty talk but no clue of what to do. . .they keep saying that there is other ways and are asked what ways. . ."you the government them. . .you figure it out"! THEY WILL COMPLAIN ABOUT EVERY ONE. . .THAT'S WHAT BAHAMIANS THEM DO. . .COMPLAIN ABOUT EVERYTHING. . .ALL DAY. . . EVERYBODY HAS THE ANSWER FOR THE NATION'S SOLUTIONS. . .ESPECIALLY TALK SHOW HOSTS AND RABID FANS. I laugh when them IMF, OECD, WORLD BANK ETC. PEOPLE HEAR SOME OF THE CRAP COMING FROM THE PUBLIC ABOUT HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS WE ARE FACING. . .HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. . .IGNINT PEOPLES DEM!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 1 week ago

And with the exception of these 4 FNM MPs and all of the PLP MPs, the other MPs, from the PM right on down, just ignored the concerns of the voting public in much the same way that the Christie-led PLP administration simply ignored the outcome of the duly held referendum on 'legalizing' the gaming web shops run by the corrupt racketeering numbers bosses like His Majesty King Sebas and His Royal Highness Sir Craig. Yes indeed, Minnis and and the other FNM MPs who voted "Yes" to the 2018/19 budget have shown great disdain for the voting taxpayers and could not care less about the dire concerns of struggling lower and middle class Bahamians. For the majority of the political elite it's all about their interest in more tax dollars being poured into the public purse to grow the size of the public services sector and social welfare programs in an effort to 'buy' votes, and to hell with the people's time.

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TalRussell 3 months, 1 week ago

Correction Ma Comrade Mudda, four independent thoughts red shirts MP's voted NO on 12% VAT.... and seven not so ready showcase their independent thoughts red shirts MP's - did not vote.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 1 week ago

Even us D- minus voters know that sitting on the fence counts for nothing.

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Greentea 3 months, 1 week ago

I think automatically counting Bannister and Gibson's absence as no votes is a mistake as they were away on government business. The others are another story.

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Greentea 3 months, 1 week ago

well apparently not- since all were away on government business.

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licks2 3 months ago

green Tea ALL IT SHOWS IS LIKE I HAVE BEEN BEATING ON ABOUT FOR SO LONG TIME AROUND HERE. . .THESE AROUND HERE WITH THE LOUDEST TALK ARE THE ONE LEAST READING AND UNDERSTANDING WHAT THEY ARE READING!! OF THE MPS NOT VOTING. . .ONE WAS A PLP MP. . .AND OTHERS WERE FNM OUT ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS OR OTHERS THAT THEY COULD NOT BE IN TOWN!!!

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bogart 3 months, 1 week ago

...its obvious these four and several others have been touched ...in their lives ....in their work ....by what they have experienced .....in campaining through every nook juk juk corner, of their cconstituencies...seeing plenty......suffering...hardship....utter desperation...these MPs are blessed .........despair, hardship poverty experiences...does not affect all persons the same.

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realfreethinker 3 months, 1 week ago

I will support anyone who vote his/her conscience. However the reality is we have a system of gov. that speaks to collective responsibility. Once you are a parliamentary sec. minister of state or full cabinet minister you have to support the gov or do the honorable thing and resign

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DDK 3 months, 1 week ago

PM did not even give them the chance to resign. Commandment One: We shalt not tolerate dissent.

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licks2 3 months ago

Like I said earlier. . .CARRY YA TAIL AND READ. . .all except Robinson said that they will NOT resign. . .long before they even voted. . .they were warned by persons about them being in a Westminster system that requires them to remit office. . .they said that they will not resign but will vote against the tax!!

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Millennial242 3 months, 1 week ago

Totally agree relfreethinker. This is the system that is in place. If these are the rules, why should there be an expectation of exemption. And DDK...why should there be a 'wait and see game'. It was expressed ahead of time what would happen.

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Greentea 3 months, 1 week ago

realfreethinker and Millenial242 your thinking represents one of the problems in the Bahamas. Utter sheep. Y'all just accept and protect systems that don't work and are utter BS. You remind me of countless public servants who respond to valid complaints with - What you expect me to do? Das the system. wow.

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Millennial242 3 months, 1 week ago

No. I expect the MP to be accountable for his actions...just like everyone should be. If he knows what the rules are, and his heart is closer bonded with his constituents than the rules...then just accept that reality and move on to finding more solutions. It's ok to understand both sides you know.

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Greentea 3 months, 1 week ago

Its OBVIOUS that they accepted responsibility- Was that ever the issue? They knew the consequences going in and did what they did anyway. They played their hand and made Minnis play his. Because he has been remarkably inconsistent in applying the so-called Westminster system - quite frankly- his insistence in applying it this time brings much needed light on this rigged system and the role it plays in poor governance AND representation, and moving forward puts a glaring light on this administration. You want to call on the system? Lets ride it through and see where it takes us.

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Socrates 3 months, 1 week ago

Now Minnis needs to study the 7 who were absent to see what, if anything, should be their punsihment. Thats the sissy way out, being absent. I'll bet they wanted to vote no, but didn't have the spine to do it so they called in sick if you like. I say any who don't have a solid, bullet proof alibi and holds a position other than MP, should be axed too. Lets get the message out, there will be consequences for your actions. no more free ride. like Bush said after 911, you either with us or against us. no room for fence sitters.

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TalRussell 3 months, 1 week ago

Ma Comrade Socrates, not only were seven red shirts MP's marked absent by Speaker being out their House of Assembly seats during the vote count but some were traveling abroad on PeoplesPublicPurse. You'd think "enforcer colonial parliamentary rules" Minnis would be transparent in providing the peoplepublic with full disclosure of each MP's whereabouts that brought about their absence and what it cost peoplepublic.... after all you cant be just a four MP "colonial enforcer." Right?

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ThisIsOurs 3 months, 1 week ago

It was said earlier that all 7 were out of the country...for such an important vote...at the same time. Nevertheless they can't be in two places at once. Ask them directly if they support the 12% hike when they get back. Everyone but Mr Bannister should be able to answer the question

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TalRussell 3 months, 1 week ago

Ma Comrade, wasn't it Desmond Thomas who did whoosh vanishing act from atop Mount Fitzwillam, when it was time PM to swear him in as cabinet minister.... I hear PM, might had his security detail be in contact Interpol help internationally with search... So, so much Her Excellency Marguerite does manges keeps from reaching the Englishwoman's on other side pond.

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Dean 3 months, 1 week ago

Editor: VAT collections should be placed in a segregated account so the revenue and expenditures can be monitored by the public. C. Dean Tseretopoulos, M.D.

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sheeprunner12 3 months, 1 week ago

Agreed .......... We put all of the money in one pot (aka black hole) and it seems to go up in smoke.

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DWW 3 months, 1 week ago

Why is no one talking about the fact that government spending is going up under the FNM watch? Total budget increase of 25% under this FNM. KP and PM MInnis are not trimming the fat out of the public service they are increasing it. Why is no one talking about that? No government ever lowers taxes, ever. The people should fight this to the end. From the outside it looks like more slushing is going on than ever before. Government should tighten the belt not ask the people to instead.

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sheeprunner12 3 months, 1 week ago

This is what is called agreeing to disagree ........... politically ........ so said, so done

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

These four FNM MPs were totally blind sided by the 60% hike in VAT from 7.50% to 12%, as were many other FNM MPs and the entire Bahamian voting public. They and many other FNM MPs were mercilessly placed in a "no win" situation by the failure of Minnis and Turnquest to consult with leading local VAT experts and representatives of the business sector, as well as their abject failure to educate the public in advance on the reasoning behind their belief that such an enormous tax increase will not put our country and its middle and lower income people in a vicious tail spin for the worse. No, make no mistake about it - that young new politician Travis, in particular, was thrown under the bus by a most arrogant and vindictive PM.

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