0

Country’S Debt - We All Owe $7k

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis addresses a town hall meeting in Eleuthera on Saturday.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis addresses a town hall meeting in Eleuthera on Saturday.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE country’s national debt as of December 2018 stood at $7.5bn, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has revealed, meaning every Bahamian incurred a debt of nearly $7,000 each.

As he held town hall meetings over the weekend in Eleuthera and several parts of Andros, Dr Minnis made the admission, echoing the criticism that there was fiscal irresponsibility by the former Christie administration.

The tour is in keeping with his commitment to Family Islanders to keep them informed of government decisions and progress periodically.

He also used the tour to tout his government’s progress, while at the same time painting the Progressive Liberal Party as an organisation not concerned with the best interest of Bahamians.

“The total direct national debt ending in December 2018 was about $7.5bn,” Dr Minnis told those gathered at the National Arts and Culture Centre in Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera on Saturday. “And so as you would understand how we got there: in 2012/2013 alone $539m was borrowed by the then government.

“In 2013/2014 $488m was borrowed, then ‘14/15 $381m was borrowed and then ‘15/16 $310m was borrowed, then ‘16/17 an additional $666m,” he said.

The Free National Movement was elected in May 2017.

“All during that five-year span they had borrowed about $2.38bn in spite of the additional $1bn that was obtained from VAT, our national debt still rose and individuals were still not paid,” Dr Minnis continued.

“What happened in that five-year span alone is every Bahamian and infant born at that time and those in their mommy’s womb would have incurred a debt before they even entered our shores. They would have incurred a debt of $6,800. That’s just within that five-year span, every Bahamian.

“Then they experienced a series of other events. We were downgraded at least four times and placed in the category of junk bonds making it extremely difficult to borrow — bad credit. Then when you borrow, you borrow at high interest rates, that’s the situation we were placed in.

“But now, the credit agency has moved us from negative credit outlook to stability. So we are moving in the right direction. We are not negative anymore we are considered stable.”

He continued: “But let’s look again at our economic indicators so you know how the economy is going. In 2013, our economy shrunk. There was a negative growth of .6 percent. In 2014 there was a negative growth of 1.2 percent. Then in 2015 there was a negative growth again. We were still heading in the wrong direction. There was a negative growth of 3.1 percent. Then in 2016 there was a growth of 0.2 percent.

“But 2017 our economy grew by about 1.4 percent. Then the IMF predicted that in 2018 our economy would have grown by 2.8 percent, then in 2019 2.1 percent, so now you see we are moving in the right direction.

“But that is still not sufficient. We still have a long way to go.”

The prime minister also addressed his government’s decision to secure a $100m credit facility from the Inter-American Development Bank.

The House of Assembly approved this resolution in late January.

It was this decision that showed the opposition did not care about Bahamians, Dr Minnis suggested.

“It’s always best to prepare for hurricane. When hurricane season comes you are told to prepare your homes, your roofs, your windows etc, that’s all prevention and precaution. The government must likewise do the same in the event that we’re stripped so we can recuperate as quickly as possible so that our quality of life does not diminish, so that our economy recuperates as quickly as possible, so that our guests can come in and we would all have our jobs (and) our schools can function, our hospitals can function. That’s the job and responsibility of the government.

“We went to Parliament to debate an IDB credit of $100m that we had to put aside. That credit facility was not to be used, only in the event of a hurricane. What it meant that if our airports were destroyed we have money immediately to fix it so that our guests could come in and our economy can function.

“If the docks are damaged we can repair it immediately so that our food can come in, our medicine, our ships etc. If the roads are damaged you can repair it.

“But we wanted to be proactive and have it set aside.”

He also said: “I am still trying to figure out the day when we went into Parliament to debate that to put that money aside to protect Eleuthera, to protect the airport, to protect your docks, to protect your schools, to protect your infrastructure, your telephone systems, the communication system, I don’t understand when we went to Parliament, the opposition ‘Brave’ Davis voted no, he did not want us to put a credit aside for you. That’s not a loan. You only use it if necessary.

“Chester who is young and they say he is up and coming, but is obviously down going voted no also. He don’t see why Eleuthera needs protection? He don’t see why Nassau needs protection? Let us all just suffer and we scrap with everyone else looking for money in the event there is a disaster and if it takes three years, no big deal we suffer. Every one of them voted no.

“So maybe they are hearing me tonight. They will explain to why we were not prepared in the event there is a disaster. So fortunately, we had the majority and we voted to protect our country.”

Comments

Dawes 1 week, 1 day ago

Headline is wrong. The debt added from 2012-17 is the $7,000 per person (they used 350,000 people which is a bit low). Based on that 350,000 the amount per person is $21,428 each on the total debt of $7.5 billion

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 1 day ago

If doofus Minnis actually said what's attributed to his mouth in this article, then he's an outright liar. Our national debt inclusive of all government guaranteed borrowing and unfunded pension and other entitlements is now well north of $10 billion dollars ($10,000,000,000). Our actual population of Bahamian citizens is about 380,000. This means our true national debt per capita (i.e. per each and every breathing Bahamian) is at the very least $26,316. But if you look at the true national debt per each and every working Bahamian, the actual debt per worker is now more than $80,000. A worker is defined as any Bahamian with a national insurance number who is gainfully employed for at least 30 hours a week. Workers who do not have a national insurance number are likely sending a good chunk of their annual earnings to family members living in another country like Haiti or Jamaica. And such expatriated earnings will never be available to pay down our true national debt.

Yes my friends, those are the cold facts and harsh reality. Doofus Minnis has never been comfortably able to master numbers of any kind, as we have seen over and over again in budget debates on the floor of the HOA, and also in his handling generally of our country's finances with his equally incompetent sidekick, Turnquest. Simply put, the dimwitted Minnis has absolutely no clue what he's talking about. He's been known to say that too many zeros in a number make him dizzy. And this from a man who readily admits he's never sure whether he's headed east or west! LMAO

3

DDK 1 week, 1 day ago

Just another sack of bull!

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 1 day ago

Minnis is actually worse than Christie ever was with his waffling on about one untruth after another. Minnis long ago realized he could never deliver on his campaign promise to be the most transparent PM ever because any light shined on himself and what he has done or is doing typically reveals just how much of a buffoon he truly is.

0

licks2 5 days, 16 hours ago

As long as you were sticking with facts you were doing just fine. . .until you re-define how national debts are calculated. . .or double defined workers. . . this shows me that there is a working brain in that head of yoon. . .you are just bent of puffing out nonsense! Here you are accusing Turnquest and doc of not having a clue when you yourself writing all kind of donkey do. . .true doc may be a doofus when it comes to defusing these numbers. . .but Turnquest. . .one of the top accountants in this nation. . .supported by many Bahamian accountants. . .in finance and the central bank?? You are really bordering on stupidity. . .minnis don't crunch those numbers. . .you are saying that there are no competent technocrats in public services who understand numbers and how they work in the real world. . .BUT YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY WHO DOES!!

0

CaptainCoon 1 week, 1 day ago

A bunch of rabid baboons and monkeys running the country as usual. SAD!

0

joeblow 1 week, 1 day ago

... but why is the national debt still standing at $7.5 billion?? The real questions are:

1) how much VAT has been collected? 2) how much has been applied to that debt?
3)) what happened to VAT collected funds that were not applied to the debt? 4) what recourse do the Bahamian have when a government collects a tax for a specific purpose but uses it for another?

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 1 day ago

True national debt is $10+ billion, not $7.5 billion.

0

TalRussell 1 week, 1 day ago

Comrade St, Joseph, father to Jesus has be experience stomach cramps when even the UBP's Sir Stafford and "Pop" Symonette, never traveled Colony of Out Islands on PeoplesPublicPurse's dime to act like the bill collector for foreign bankers to confide in financially VAT strapped Out Islanders - how much each them does owes the foreigners.
Yes no - you just can't make this up... likes just cost plane alone it tooks fly the PM to Out islanders with bad news has add to their done $7,000 debt load?

1

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 1 day ago

$80,000 not $7,000. But what can we expect from a paid FNM troll. LMAO

0

sheeprunner12 1 week, 1 day ago

Dependents take from the State ......... prisoners, disabled, unemployed, unemployable, school children, non-schoolers, and illegal immigrants etc. .......... so that is at least 150,000 who cannot work and contribute to the GNP ........ $7.5 billion divided by 200,000 workers =$38,000 debt per productive Bahamian worker ............ Far from Minnis voodoo economics

0

TalRussell 1 week, 1 day ago

Comrade Long Islander Sheepherder, where in PMO's Erica's prepared text to this hereto Tribune pages, does it say anything about "facts teller's" landing to hold Town Hall meetings over the weekend in Eleuthera and several parts of Andros Out Islands, yes, no - remember the source to whom the words be attributed to?

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 1 day ago

Take out the unemployed, the illegal aliens (who send most of their annual income to their family in Haiti or Jamaica), the young, the elderly, the disabled, etc. and you're lucky if our true work force totally $125,000, inclusive of expats on work permits.

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 6 days, 15 hours ago

s/b : "....... lucky if our true work force totals 125,000....."

0

John 1 week, 1 day ago

So you cannot get a loan from the bank based on your credit worthiness, but government goes and borrows $25,000 in your name.

0

sheeprunner12 1 week, 1 day ago

Sooooooo, what's in the Disney's Eleuthera Lighthouse Point cruise port Heads of Agreement?????? ........... Where can we get a copy????????

0

TheMadHatter 1 week, 1 day ago

Utter and complete rubbish. Where are the books? Where is our VAT money?

0

birdiestrachan 1 week, 1 day ago

doc can not help himself he lies for and about everything. if his mouth is open he is telling LIES. It is my hope that the people to whom he was speaking know better.

In the mean time the former Our Lucaya Hotel. Now doc and Turnquest hotel continue to crumble . would doc be so kind as to tell the Bahamian people is that picture he took in a suite in their hotel . is it the sweetheart suite or not?

0

hnhanna 1 week, 1 day ago

LMAO at some of these Ignoramus comments, I can tell some of you don't understand Government accounting

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 1 day ago

Forget the smoke and mirrors government accounting.....it's the basic maths and economics that count.

0

licks2 5 days, 16 hours ago

No. . .it is jack azzness. . .ignorant loud mouths. I am dumbfounded. . .most of these loud mouthed people around here seem lost as goose. . .no wonder our politicians can do so much nonsense to us and we follow them like dumb sheep!! We is a buncha dumb sheep. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

0

birdiestrachan 1 week, 1 day ago

and that includes yourself, doc and Turnquest. lost in a wilderness of confusion

0

bogart 1 week, 1 day ago

....FORTUITOUSLY....FORTUITOUSLY....FORTUITOUSLY......,!!!!....Yes dis irrefutable...known...errybody who yinna trutru Bahamian.....KNOWS DA PORE MAJORITY.....BAHAMIAN.....LIVES IN HOUSE in ghetto... WID.....HALF A DOZEN BAHAMIANS...usual.....one teenage big up..an due...pa gat sugga....one gats fits..in ...baby colic... HOUSE.........NOW SADDLED TO TOTE...MOST TAXES IN PORE HOUSES.....AN RICH..ELITES...ECHELONS...COHORTS....BIRDS OF FEATHER....STICKING TAXES....TO we ple ty...population...MAJORITY PORE PEOPLE........TIME FOR RICH PAYING INCOME TAXES....CORPORATE TAXES.....GOING TO JAIL FOR WHITE COLLAR CRIME..an pore aint satisfy fer tee shirts an VAT free corn beef...lies during election..macaroni 'n cheeze...chicken wing...or music concert...

0

Future 1 week, 1 day ago

I don't owe nobody a damn ting. Make the crooked politicians who borrow for their own financial gain be the ones to pay it back. Don't talk fool bout I must pay back your loan. Pay ya own bills. #gimmiedolla

0

sheeprunner12 1 week ago

Politicians pay back???? .......... and they retire (or are voted out) and collect full salary pensions & perks from the Treasury for life ....... and their wife and children??????

0

bogart 1 week ago

....dont dep POLITICIANS.....GETS AN ...OFFICIAL .FUNREAL......Police Band...cut off Bay St.....marching up Bay St.....NATIONAL FLAGS....flying at half staff.....students entire schools informed of this official funreal......CELEBRATING....former lost elections.....MP.s..even.poor performance......even though the public by majority voting public refuse once...twice..??... to vote them back to represent the nation......

0

sheeprunner12 1 week ago

Hubert Minnis does these "town hall meetings" for cheap political brownie points ....... He is in and out within an hour ....... talks down to the people from a prepared script ........ takes NO questions from the audience ....... grins and walks off to have lunch with his entourage ....... and continues on to the next stop ......... This is not Trump in America ........ Bahamians will soon see through this gimmick ........... He will soon turn up to empty "halls".

0

Sign in to comment