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Gg’S Rental Expenses ‘Money We Must Spend’

DEPUTY Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.

DEPUTY Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.

By MORGAN ADDERLEY

& RIEL MAJOR

Tribune Staff Reporters

DEPUTY Prime Minister Peter Turnquest yesterday stressed the importance of “comfort and security” in the wake of reports the government will spend $9,000 a month to rent a home for new Governor General CA Smith.

While Mr Turnquest declined to confirm the rental price, he noted the safety measures required by Mr Smith “come with a cost” and called for maturity regarding this situation.

Mr Turnquest, who is serving as Acting Prime Minister while Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is out of the country, highlighted this will be a “temporary” arrangement as Government House is currently undergoing a “major renovation”. He approximated these works will take a “couple of months” but did not provide a specific timeline.

“You know, I think the more important question is: what accommodations have been made for the comfort and security of the Governor General?” said Mr Turnquest.

“I think we all appreciate that as head of state, the Governor General is afforded and requires a certain level of safety, a certain level of comfort, (a) certain standard of living that will allow him to entertain as necessary and to live in a reasonably secure environment. The rental pool for that kind of accommodation is relatively limited. And unfortunately it does come with a cost.

“This is a temporary situation,” Mr Turnquest continued. “Government House is undergoing a major renovation to bring it back to its lustre and splendour to be not only a residence but also to restore (it) to its historic prominence as a tourist destination and as a place that Bahamians can be proud of.

“That unfortunately is going to take a couple of months to be done and so there was a need to accommodate the Governor General. And so that is what the government has decided to do and again…I would ask us all to be mature about this, because again, this is the head of state.

“And there are considerations beyond just the cost that have to be taken into account. We tried to be as reasonable as we could with those accommodations and we think we’ve accomplished that as best we can.”

When pressed to confirm the $9,000/month price tag, Mr Turnquest replied: “To be honest with you I cannot confirm the terms. But I do know that the arrangements have been made and the governor general has taken residency in that house.”

As regards the timeframe for the completion of renovations, he said:  “Leave that to the minister of works, in terms of the actual construction or renovation schedule, that would be outside my ability to respond to at the moment,” Mr Turnquest said on the sidelines of the first concrete pour for the Sterling’s Hurricane Hole development on Paradise Island.

Yesterday Progressive Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis branded the expense as a “waste of money”.

At the PLP’s monthly press conference yesterday, Mr Davis said the government didn’t pay rent for the previous Governor General and stated by now the repairs to Government House should have been done.

Mr Davis said: “Government House should (have) been repaired a long time ago and I’m advised that the roof is still leaking (and was leaking) for the last four years or more. They ought to (have) been thinking about what was necessary. Again, it is governance and they ought to…again it’s a waste of money...taxpayers’ money.

“Those works that they are doing now they could have been done some time ago because Government House was only being used over the last four years for ceremonial and state functions. The opportunity was there to repair it. We could have saved this $9,000 a month if they had done what they ought to have done when they ought to.”

The 2019/2020 Budget allocated $75,000 for all personal emoluments of the Governor General.

Comments

joeblow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Why swear him in if accommodations were not yet ready for him to occupy on the Hill?

... and the waste begins again, or rather, continues!

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bahamianson 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Joe Blow, great observation ! Did the government know that it was going to swear in a new governor general ? If so, why did it not prepare for it? Did the government not know that it was going to install generators? Why install generators during the hottest time of the year? Who made such a stupid decision? He or she should be fired! People get into government and run it like they run their own private lives. They spend more than they should to keep up with the Jones, then ask for money when their funds have run out on a materialistic lifestyle. Unfortunately for us, the funds come in the form of increased taxes like VAT. They same people who pay taxes still get taxed. There is only so much we can pay. The next set of people come in ., and they say they have to increase taxes because of the last group. Good gracious!!!!! This is insane !!!!!!! Soon , we are going to be paying $5 for a bus fare, $ 10 for a loaf of bread , $100 for a pint of paint , and the list goes on. Every group wants a raise , and the government has to increase taxes to pay everyone !

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DDK 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Why? Because they are a bunch of moronic imbeciles! I think we are slipping into fourth world mind-set, if we are not there already

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realfreethinker 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Really Bwave. "Government House should (have) been repaired a long time ago and I’m advised that the roof is still leaking (and was leaking) for the last four years or more" This man has no shame.The plp would do well in finding a new leader before the next election in order to keep the couple of seats they have now. Just WOW. This man is breathtakingly stupid.

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licks2 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Not that he has no shame. . .he seem lost and has no clue of his own history!! Or. . .as I suspect, Chairman Mitchell is the big screwup in the background with what information they give to the public!!

GG Pingling did not stay in the structure because of its condition or she just did not want to stay there. . .she liked her home better?

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The_Oracle 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Never fails to amaze how the PLP both love and despise the colonial trappings of the British Empire. Let Government house fall into disrepair for decades, but salivate for a Queens Honor. Join WTO but remain pro xenophobia in domestic policy. Can someone investigate the cost of having Lady P. be GG? Did she live at home? Pocket the full budgeted Ticket? Pay her Real Property tax?

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 2 weeks ago

No right thinking person should want to live in Govt House ....... can they trust the RBDF for security anymore??????

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Now we know why Minnis could not tell A.C. Smith that he was no longer going to be appointed Governor-General as a result of Smith's most serious faux pas in protocol whereby he pre-maturely announced to the world he had been appointed by Minnis. This occurred before Minnis even had the opprtunity to formally notify Her Majesty the Queen of Smith's nomination for the post. It seems the house lease had already been signed and Smith had moved in, thereby preventing Minnis from nominating someone else for the GG position.

And you'll never guess who beneficially owns the luxurious house that is being rented by government for Smith at an all-in cost well in excess of $150,000 per annum so that Smith can hold big parties for his friends on the taxpayers' dime. Think big time muck-a-muck. LMAO!

K. P. Turnquest clearly believes in the entitlement of the political elite to live as well as they wish off of the backs of taxpayers. For this reason Turnquest should be given his working papers..... as if his incompetence alone isn't bad enough for all of us taxpayers to have to endure.

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You know populaces think the more important question is:why were the accommodations atop Mount Fitzwilliam comfort and 'security' enough Comrade Sister Marguerite but not for a loyal serving red shirts man's who couldn't wait neither he Queen nor prime minister announce his appointment governor general.............. begs question amongst populaces - likes how damn relaxed was Marguerite's own security detail........Just can't be making this up..............

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Dawes 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Just to point out but she never stayed there. She went home to her house out west each night.

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Regardless, not style Comrade Sister Marguerite be helding her hand out for populaces be her keeper at $9,000 every month she slept her out west, no.........

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birdiestrachan 2 months, 2 weeks ago

They should have made sure that the government house was ready before he was sworn in. They do not really care how they spend the taxpayer's money,

One has to admit that the Bahamian people voted for them, so they are free to do whatever pleases them. It is the peoples time so they should all be very happy.

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birdiestrachan 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The PLP had two years to repair the roof and the FNM had two years to repair the roof. Ms. Pindling did not live there, The FNM Government should have repaired the place before he was sworn in. What was the rush?

Where is the VAT money $9,000 a month for rent?

Just wait for The Our Lucayan story.

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The PLP has a good excuse ....... Lady SLOP had her own house so we didn't have to fix Govt House while we were in Office .......... Shallow, dumb, stupid excuse.

Then the FNM duplicated the same excuse .......... and then decided to get rid of Lady SLOP with no Plan A or Plan B, so we have their Plan C.

That is why many say there is NO difference between the two sets of political clowns.

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proudloudandfnm 2 months, 1 week ago

A couple of months?????

Peter could lie now.... holy crap....

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