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Deputy Pm Heckled As He Talks Vat At Graduation

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest in the House of Assembly. File Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest in the House of Assembly. File Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

DEPUTY Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest was interrupted at times as he tried to persuade those attending the Galilee College’s 2018 graduation ceremony that critics have misrepresented the 2018-2019 budget.

He urged residents to read his budget communication for themselves rather than rely on third party information.

“How many of you have read the budget communication? Just put your hand up and be honest, we in church. Tell the truth. Who has read the presentation? And therein lies the problem.

“We have individuals who are making up things,” he said during the event.

“I had a town meeting the other day and a lady said that ‘you are not telling us the truth. You know why I know? Because Juan McCartney said and Ortland Bodie said.’ And I asked her the question, what do you say? Did you read the budget? Do you understand it? Did you take the time to just maybe turn on the TV and watch the debate? And she sat down. That’s the problem. I always say to people as I do these town meetings, you owe it to yourself and to your future generations to know, to be informed so you can make decisions to yourselves and for the future of this country.

“. . . When it comes to the poor, there is this narrative that we are putting 12 percent and to make it sexy they say 60 percent tax on the Bahamian people. First let us recognise that when 7.5 percent was added, it was the same persons who were talking about how good it was. We’ve added four and a half percent and we didn’t think about putting four and a half percent because we wanted to break the back of the poor. The reality is that the country is in debt and if you’ve ever had to work hard and come home to pay your bills, you know what I’m talking about.”

The crowd grew restless as Mr Turnquest spoke and it was clear the budget in that setting was a tough sell.

“Give me a minute, give me a minute, we in church now, simmer down,” he said in an attempt to calm the crowd down.

Over intermittent shouts and loud murmurs from the crowd, he explained: “So you’ve got $7 billion of debt and you are only making $2 billion a year, every year we earn $2.5 billion so we have got a deficit every year of over $600 million a year, now if you look at the amount of debt that’s been accumulated year after year, because every year we are borrowing, even if you can’t understand the $7 billion of debt, what you ought to be able to understand is that every year that debt is growing. This year, we are going to spend $381 million on interest, and to bring that into context, that is 14 cents of every tax dollar that you put into the treasury that goes to pay for interest.”

One woman in particular could be heard shouting, “We care ‘bout that?” and “These poor lil’ children.”

The value added tax increase to 12 percent comes into force at the beginning of next month. The hike has overshadowed what the Minnis administration has called the “People’s Budget.” The administration hopes VAT exemptions on bread-basket items and electricity bills up to $200 along with customs duty waivers on clothes and shoes for retailers will offset the impact the general increase in VAT will have on Bahamians.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 10 months ago

If he had any sense of what is actually needed he'd know we are at a place where the only thing that can increase revenue is TAX CUTS AND SPENDING CUTS. STOP DROWNING US IN TAXES.

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BahamasForBahamians 10 months ago

Peter Turnquest owes the graduates an apology for hijacking their ceremonious departure from High school with his deflated attempts at selling this FAILURE of a budget.

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ThisIsOurs 10 months ago

Why was he talking about the budget at a graduation ceremony??? Dumb and Dummerer in charge. And they selling us off to Kreuger fir a bowl of porridge

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Well_mudda_take_sic 10 months ago

Because like Minnis, Turnquest is as politically tone deaf and dumb as they come, with a most dangerous inflated sense of self-worth.

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ThisIsOurs 10 months ago

Agree with you. He's like Christie, they spout off sentences hoping people will be impressed by how well they pronounce the words .

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TalRussell 10 months ago

What's coming next - no Double "Two Red Man's Deal" 5 Pieces, Biscuit and 16oz Pop - served Comrades Minnis and KP... stay tuned when 8 Pieces Bucket - denied members Imperial red shirts cabinet... Time sends reds back eatin' Corned Beef... but there is always possibility Free Fishes - one of da two red man's. ( No needs make up this Imperial Finger Lickin' bunch red shirts be fightin' over 8 pieces between them }.

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sheeprunner12 10 months ago

That is why the schools should not invite politicians to be their main speakers ......... find persons who have contributed to that school in some tangible way or an outstanding alumnus, but leave politicians who have NO connection to that school alone ........ Galilee got what it asked for.

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ThisIsOurs 10 months ago

No this on Turnquest. Any sensible adult can generate appropriate topics for the forum they're in. Any sensible adult. It throws me back to the incident where I first started to question Turnquest. It was at the convention when he pouted and huffed after Loretta spoke, I was dumbfounded trying to figure out why he was acting like a pouty child. I couldn't see Obama pulling a tantrum like that. It was "odd" for a leader

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ohdrap4 10 months ago

yep, my opinion of him changed that night.

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licks2 10 months ago

RUNNER DON'T FOLLOW THOSE HACKS. . .THEY SHOULD HAVE READ THE INFORMATION CORRECT. . ."A STUDENT ASKED THE MINISTER A QUESTION" ABOUT THE BUDGET. . .then he went into his speel. . .when he asked them "students" how many of them read the budget profile published in the news paper. . .about four of them put their hands up!! Then he went into "low talking" telling them about getting their information from talk shows and not reading for themselves!! They got "pissed" about getting "stocked" my the minister!! He told them. . .graduating students that they need to carry they tails and read the information they "asked for" and stop talking crap around his head. . .so to speak!!

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DDK 10 months ago

"One woman in particular could be heard shouting, “We care ‘bout that?” " in reference to the DPM's futile attempt at explanation of our bad borrowing and spending habits.

That is a sad truth, but that's we people!

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ThisIsOurs 10 months ago

The sad truth is he don't know anymore about economics than that lady. He's a profiler

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licks2 10 months ago

The man is an accountant! But please tell me. . .are you an economist? If no. . .how the hell you know if what he or she are saying is true or not?

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birdiestrachan 10 months ago

Turnquest underestimates the intelligence of the Bahamian people. This budget hurts the [poor and middle class. what about that he does not understand.

But they did take duty of airplanes and butter of course, which will both work in his favor. Turnquest and doc should stop telling lies. OBAN will pay no duty or VAT, OBAN is just another BIG FAT FNM LIE> Nor will the foreign staff. 5.5 billion they say. It is a real estate deal really. Dumb Liars indeed,

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ohdrap4 10 months ago

there has been no duty on butter for a very long time, in addition, it is price controlled.

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John 10 months ago

While the VAT increase may be a bomb that left many shell shocked, many still have confidence that the country will fare better under the Minnis led FNM than it did under Christie and the PLP. The absence of wastage and reduced corruption and tighter fiscal management should help deliver benefits.

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DDK 10 months ago

Let's hope you are right! Wastage is not absent, there's always hope for a reduction!

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TalRussell 10 months ago

Ma Comrades, obviously KP demonstrates his insensitivity when 13.9% of 91,409 voting up HOA the 35 red shirts candidates - now find themselves no longer able afford pay their cable bills watch TV - some have had neighbours call policeman's cars respond them attempting watch they favourite TV shows by peeking in neighborliness TV rooms windows... three were embarrassingly suspected being serial TV watching peeping Tom's. { No making this up when its right there in reported crime statistics }.

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birdiestrachan 10 months ago

Something is very wrong with Turnquest or he believes the Bahamian people are fools mainly because they voted for them Turnquest you and doc did not vote for the 7;5 % you all said it was wrong. Then you turn around and make it 12% and think it is all right. if 7.5 was wrong according to you and your team how can 12 % be right. you all have proven your selves to be liars,

some misguided persons voted for the FNM because they were convinced VAT would be removed. you all deceived the people. duped them.

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birdiestrachan 10 months ago

John you talking about wastage like the Barbara Hana contract, and the $7,000 video see Jeff Lloyd and closing off roads for the elite. Not to mention the trips. Pay attention.

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TheMadHatter 10 months ago

"One woman in particular could be heard shouting, “We care ‘bout that?”..."

This is just one more reason i keep saying govt should not have taken VAT off breadbasket items.

These "poor" people really don't care about anything except beer and chicken and dominoes.

Lower (no vat) prices are only going to encourage them to have more children. 18 years from now the Min of Finance will only be heckled worse.

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ThisIsOurs 10 months ago

I'll wait to see how many "good" things they find to do with the money

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ohdrap4 10 months ago

you forgot gambling, but the govt gets back 5% of the vat that would have been spent on food otherwise.

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TheMadHatter 10 months ago

This.is.Ours - i hear the filet mignon by Graycliff is quite GOOD. ....LOL

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ThisIsOurs 10 months ago

How much times filet mignon * 12 goes into 1 billion?

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TalRussell 10 months ago

Da Comrade Prime Minister Christie and Deputy Prime Minister Brave administration - introduced VAT in 2015 and shook out pockets peoplepublic $550 million first year - never an accounting,,,.. what's changed since 10th May 2017?

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TalRussell 10 months ago

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by TalRussell

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OriginalBey 10 months ago

Addressing current affairs at graduations or any public event non related is a tactic used in the United States. I notice next generation politicians adopt a lot of how U.S. politicians operate. Some positive but most not becoming. The whole CEO and press secretary is another example of this.

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Socrates 10 months ago

its easy to see how we are getting closer to the apocalypse.. evidence all over the globe of what happens to broke countries when they can't service the debt anymore.. we all have TV and newspapers but dont read or understand it seems. Argentina, Greece -- broke places. so you have legions of poor... riots all the time cause their pensions keep getting cut and people losing jobs.. thats whats coming if we dont get our asses in gear and face reality..

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realfreethinker 10 months ago

Socrates that's what these "smart" people on here don't understand. They keep talking about vat and don't see the big picture. Our financial situation is dire.

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DDK 10 months ago

Our national debt is dire, but so is pouring water on the small flame of hope that was finally our economy on the rebound. VAT is a nasty way of dealing with the debt. Spending constraints do not seem to want to be considered. Until there is real transparency and accountability no-one will see the big picture. The budget talks about paying down the interest as well as borrowing more money. An opposition senator said the budget was all mixed up like conch salad. Her statement has merit.

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licks2 10 months ago

But it been in your news paper for days now. . .so by your senate statement you did not read the budget either aye? Why should they be transparent with you when you would not read anything anyhow? I read the budget profile published in the news paper. . .WHERE THE CONCH SALAD? OF IS IT THAT YINNA PLP THEM CAN'T DANG READ TOO?

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sheeprunner12 10 months ago

KPT has overseen the pull out of commercial banks in Long Island ....... now he is taking CASH out of Long Island ......... KPT must be working for Mr.666 and the Devil ........... SMT

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licks2 10 months ago

How many of you around here read the budget layout published by the government? That document was in the public for days now. . .A VERY COMPREHENSIVE MATRIX OF FACTS AND FIGURES THAT DO NOT PAINT A PRETTY PICTURE OF OUR FINANCIAL SITUATION GOING FORWARD!

Even though I thought that the minister got a little heated under his collar because a graduate asked about the budget during his speech to them about moving forward in their careers. . .I was more "taken-aback" by the fact that those 200 or so asking questions about the budget. . .not even five of them read the document? That would make me pissed off too. . .then as usual they started laughing and carrying on like dumb persons. . .laughing and acting the fool. . .my mother would say!!

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killemwitdakno 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Graduation doesn't have to be politicized.

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