Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest in the House of Assembly. File Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The Deputy Prime Minister yesterday confirmed that the Government will make another $10m payout to CLICO (Bahamas) clients before year-end.
Speaking with reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting, KP Turnquest, pictured, said: "The Government has been making the payouts to the policyholders, and we have been doing that over a number of years and are set to make another payout this year. I believe it is budgeted for $10m.
"We have been prioritising the pay-offs based on the amount of annuities that have been maturing. We have most of the smaller payments, which have been liquidated, and the biggest we are paying in stages. We have money in this year's budget for another stage of payments and this will be done relatively soon."
Tribune Business revealed earlier this month that the Government was working on a fourth CLICO (Bahamas) payout that could come as early as November.
This newspaper's sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to this newspaper that the Government was working with CLICO (Bahamas) liquidator, Craig A 'Tony' Gomez, the Baker Tilly Gomez accountant and principal, to determine the mechanism and timing for such a payout.
They added that November was the intended timeline to pay further compensation to the insurer's former annuity holders and pension beneficiaries, with the Government having allocated $12.403m in the 2018-2019 budget to fulfill what are termed "CLICO obligations".
It is unclear whether all, or part, of this sum will be paid out next month, but the Government has allocated the same $12.403m amount for CLICO in the next two Budgets covering the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 fiscal years.
This indicates an intent to compensate CLICO (Bahamas) clients for their loss as fiscal circumstances and cash flow allow,
Back in 2016, former Prime Minister Perry Christie announced that the insolvent insurer's Executive Flexible Premium Annuity (EFPA) holders, and surrendered pension policies, would receive a cash payment capped at $10,000.
Anything owed above this sum was to be paid off via the issuance to former clients of seven-year promissory notes (government bonds), which will provide them with quarterly insurance payments at the Prime rate (4.75 per cent). It was also indicated that surrendered insurance policies, death benefits, medical claims and staff pensions would ultimately be paid in full.
Mr Turnquest, meanwhile, yesterday said the Government was on track to meet its objectives for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, with an update on the Minnis administration's performance possibly forthcoming in a week or two.
He said: "We are about to release an update, as we had promised, that reports on our performance in terms of revenue collection and what we spent to ensure we are keeping them fully abreast of how we are meeting our commitments.
"We recognised that the budget asked for some sacrifices from the Bahamian people, and we want to ensure we stay true to our promises to them in terms of how we spent that money."
"Very soon we will be issuing an update detailing exactly what we have collected, how we spent it and the liquidation of some of the past expenses that we outlined. In a week or two, at the most, we will put out a detailed report on exactly how we are preforming," Mr Turnquest continued.
"I can say that we are satisfied at the moment with the progress we have been making, and we believe that at the current pace we should be able to meet our objectives. We anticipate that we will be able to achieve our expectations for this fiscal year."