0

Turnquest Proclaims Lowest Deficit Level In A Decade

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.

By Natario McKenzie

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

FINANCE Minister K Peter Turnquest yesterday touted that "for the first time in a long time" the government has met its deficit target, having recorded a deficit of $222.4m for fiscal year 2018/2019.

According to the Ministry of Finance the deficit is equal to 1.7 percent of GDP "marking the lowest deficit and fiscal ratio achieved by any administration in The Bahamas in nearly ten years" and the first time since FY2012/13 that any government has met its deficit target.

"This is significant in our fiscal history and is evidence that we are serious and determined to put our fiscal house in order, and committed to achieving a more sustainable fiscal position. As we have consistently maintained, our ultimate goal is to achieve sustainable economic growth that allows opportunity to flourish for all Bahamians, and economic and social benefits to be maintained over the medium and long term," said Mr Turnquest, deputy prime minister and minister of finance.

"The success we achieved this year with improving our fiscal balance is only one step in a multi-step process. We are still at the early point of recovery and we must stay the course. Our country is still vulnerable to natural disasters and external economic shocks. Our priorities will continue to be expenditure restraint, enhanced revenue compliance and collection, and implementing policies to stimulate economic growth."

The fourth quarter report also revealed a debt to GDP ratio of 58.8 percent at the end of fiscal year 2018/19, which represents a marginal increase of 0.1 percent when compared with FY2017/18.

"This is the slowest the debt has increased in over a decade. This virtual stabilisation in the debt ratio is an important milestone, and it aligns with our overall fiscal objective, which is to eventually bring the debt to GDP ratio down to the more sustainable target of 50 per cent. The objective is to pursue a fiscal policy that will begin to move the debt to GDP ratio lower over time," said Mr Turnquest.

"Governments of The Bahamas have only met their revenue targets on four occasions in nearly two decades. This means that we have to get better both at forecasting and at collecting revenues on the books. We are well underway in the implementation of the right policy and administrative measures to ensure that we are collecting all revenues due to the Government. This is a compelling priority of the Government, as we implement our fiscal plan utilising a combination of strategies including the establishment of the Revenue Enhancement Unit which is now fully staffed."

"Nevertheless, what is important is that for the first time in a long time the government has met its deficit target - and done so in a way that is responsible and prudent. More so, the outturn represents the lowest such deficit as a percentage of GDP in almost a decade. We have established a fiscal plan in line with the fiscal responsibility legislation and we are remaining true to this plan as required by law."

Comments

birdiestrachan 1 year, 2 months ago

It would be good if only one could believe anything that comes out of their lying mouths

Here come Dorian May the good Lord help the poor people. Who will ne hurt most of all.s

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

The deficit as calculated by our very disingenuous Minister of Finance does not include the many millions of dollars government knows it will need to spend in supporting financially dependent special purpose vehicles that have been created to remove liabilities off of the government's balance sheet, plus the many millions of dollars more the government knows it must spend in propping up loss making government corporations, plus accruals for the expense portion of unfunded pension obligations and various contingencies that have not been given proper accounting recognition. Truth be told, KP Turnquest is as devious as the numbers bosses when it comes to bookkeeping. He has one set of accounts for the public and rating agencies and another real set of accounting records for a select few eyes only that show the very dismal true deficit. KP Turquest has a well deserved reputation for getting the truth wrong and the same no doubt applies to his debits and credits in keeping the nation's accounting records. Nothing but smoke and mirrors with a slick veneer of pretense.

0

observer2 1 year, 2 months ago

Well put Well_mudda, watch for the BEC Special Purpose Vehicle getting ready to raise $650 in US$ on Wall St. to hide all the BEC incompetence, pension liabilities, fraud and skimming.

The funds will be easily raised because no matter how much you tax Bahamians they pay their taxes.

0

Topdude 1 year, 2 months ago

Wow. What a virulent attack on the Minister of Finance. Will this attack make you feel nice? This form of self flagellation borders on the perverse. And is just another example of stupidity in the quiver of PLP perversion. How come Mudda knows so much about the system of Government Accounts? He must have done exactly that which he is now trying to accuse the Minister of doing. This is called projection. And Mudda needs serious psychological assistance. One suspects that he and his PLP acolytes are very, very ill. Seek the high road Mudda and get thee out of the gutter.

0

ThisIsOurs 1 year, 2 months ago

Mudda is definitely not PLP.

He was equally vocal about his feelings on the direction the country was moving in under the last administration. His commentary is also not self flagellation or projection. Pr When people point out deficiencies with this administration, it seems the FNM'S response is to attack the individual. There never seems to be an attempt to examine whether what was said had any basis in truth, even if it was mean spirited. Truth can be spoken in anger. People are hurting. Scrooge who is on the ground in the inner city, and knows way more about what the most vulnerable are experiencing than me or you, said yesterday "I have never seen it this bad". And all the blame isnt on the FNM, they did inherit a mess. But they came in unprepared to handle it. And that was unforgiveable. Theyve been in power multiple times before, they know how govt works, they know where numbers are typically buried, they know the PLP was fudging numbers as well. Its purely a refection of their unwillingness to consult and their cronyistic methodology.

As mudda says, these low deficit numbers are simply a manipulation of the books to make everuthing look good. It started under the PLP with use of special purpose vehicles and the FNM has adopted the practice. I am personally waiting for payment for wirk completed in 2017 and from my understanding there are hundreds more in that position. Report that statisic, what we owe people whove already completed work, when you speak of low deficit numbers.

My personal belief, they're too heavily focused on good looking books. Just the other day Mr Turnquest put out a completely unbelievable statement about balancing the budget in 3 years... while BEC and the roads were crumbling around him and no allowance had been made in the budget for capital works. He then gave the caveat if we dont have a hurricane. What world are these People living in?

Is there a needle filled with delusional medicine sticking up in every seat in parliament? So the minute anyone takes a seat they get a dose up their butt and lose all perspective on what the average bahamian is experiencing?

0

ThisIsOurs 1 year, 2 months ago

And please don't parse "average Bahamian". Many persons are doing well in the country, more are hurting.

1

concernedcitizen 1 year, 2 months ago

Mudda cuts the clothe and twist the truth to fit his bias , His extreme dislike of Minnis and his bromance w Trump

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

@concernedcitizen: Your infatuation with what I have to say rather than the obvious fundamental problems destroying our country would be amusing if I didn't suspect you're either seriously mentally challenged or riding the gravy train of corruption - perhaps both.

0

concernedcitizen 1 year, 2 months ago

neither ,, I just find it nearly laughable how you make up stuff and twist facts to suit your bias .I can see the headline and know what your going write ..Minnis is not all bad and Trump is not all good no matter how you prattle on w your obsession .

0

ThisIsOurs 1 year, 2 months ago

Everyone has inherent biases. So you listen to what they say, account for the bias and determine if what's left has any merit. We'd all have a better country with that approach

0

concernedcitizen 1 year, 2 months ago

When ur not objective and purely subjective and slightly obsessive then twist and distort facts to suit your bias , I get bored and don't have the patience to shift through the nonsense . I reply w out even reading them , and since everyone of of his comments say the same thing , I,m done reading or replying .

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

You're missing the underlying point about our misleading national budgets, and perhaps deliberately so. An effective hurricane preparedness plan would have the airports and docks on Abaco and Grand Bahama immediately readied to receive massive supplies of water, gasoline, blue tarp, basic and more common medications, food, portable generators, basic building and construction materials, transportation vehicles, etc., etc. Do you have any idea whether the great cost of maintaining an adequate hurricane preparedness plan was ever budgeted for by KP Turnquest, and whether sufficient quantities of the necessary emergency supplies were ever purchased and stored at appropriate locations by NEMA? The cost of an effective national hurricane preparedness plan should surely feature as a significant periodic budget item in our national budgets. You don't wait to buy these emergency items until after a catastrophic hurricane hits....especially if Florida or another neighbouring state is hit at the same and is competing with NEMA to obtain the same emergency supplies.

0

concerned799 1 year, 2 months ago

Can I ask if you advocated selling BEC years ago for us all to have avoided the need for its SPV? Just curious if you would have been for a path which would have been for a better outcome.

0

concerned799 1 year, 2 months ago

Good news. Is an achievement. But the debt is still growing. Taxes going up has done its part. So what about spending?

When will BEC be sold off so it can not further impact the debt in anyway?

0

Porcupine 1 year, 2 months ago

I believe Dorian will wipe out any good news on the fictitious numbers the government has tried to spin.

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

That's a given as sure as tomorrow will follow today.

0

proudloudandfnm 1 year, 2 months ago

Nassau can't keep the power on. Abaco has power issues. Long Island has water issues. Freeport has no industries left.

I honestly don't give a sh-t about the deficit....

0

sheeprunner12 1 year, 2 months ago

The "lowest deficit" story is a political brownie point .......... it does not portray the real costs that the Government owes in retirees' pensions, CBA salaries & benefits, utility debts, longterm loans debts and SPV debts ......... easily $13 Billion owed against our $2.2 Billion annual Revenue intake.

0

observer2 1 year, 2 months ago

"Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few." Ecclesiastes 5:2.

Turnquest booast and brags about all he has accomplished with the deficit. After punishing the ppl with 12% VAT and no light. God is upset.

0

sheeprunner12 1 year, 2 months ago

His so-called deficit "savings" will be quickly sucked up in Dorian's wake

0

Sign in to comment