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We Won't Spend Money Unwisely, Says Minnis

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

AFTER facing backlash over the government's decision to increase travel benefits for Cabinet ministers and their spouses, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said tax dollars will not be spent irresponsibly.

Speaking at Parliament, Dr Minnis said the government remained committed to transparency and would report to Bahamians how it chose to spend public funds.

He said: “…I know what it’s like to be short of change and short of funds. We have made a commitment to elevate the poor and under privileged.

“We have made a commitment to protect the account and the finances of the people. We will never ever make a decision that is not transparent and is not in the best interest of the people.

“We will never be irresponsible and spend the people’s money wild and that is why we account to this Parliament and to the people of every dime that we spend.”

“I would never waste and abuse my own personal funds and this government certainly would not do it with the people’s money,” he continued.

Last week, Dr Minnis was criticised for the tone he took in the face of questions over the travel benefits increase.

Dr Minnis made the comments at a press conference at Sir Lynden International Airport following his trip to Barbados to attend a CARICOM meeting.

"...I was placed in an embarrassing situation as prime minister of the country when I travelled to Brussels only to discover that they did not accept cash,” Dr Minnis said at the time. “They did not accept swipe card. You needed a chip. I had to borrow a card from someone else to pay a bill.

"And we had an ambassador in the same situation and could not pay bills and I was almost pressured, (and) I was to a point, where the ambassador was in a compromised position. I was about to call Jamaica for assistance to pay our bills and you worried about $100?"

Before making these comments Dr Minnis told reporters that records would show that officials' spouses have not been taking advantage of the benefits.

"…You check the records and you would find that I don't think one Cabinet minister's spouse has taken advantage of that," he told reporters last week.

"And you would find, in most instances, that Cabinet ministers travel by themselves and not only that but what you don't know is on many occasions Cabinet ministers, including myself, travel with insufficient funds and use my own credit card to pay government's bills.

"That happens regularly so we always have to travel with our own cash and our own credit card."

The new travel policy, which was implemented by Cabinet last year, allows for ministers' spouses to go on additional trips, including a $100 daily per diem. The policy also increases ministerial per diem from $80 to $100 per day for domestic travel and $150 to $250 for international travel.

Comments

BahamaPundit 1 month, 1 week ago

Is it just me or does listening to this guy sound like an alcoholic on the street, "I ain't ga use dis money for no Gin, I promise promise promise." Fact is, Bahamian politicians are addicts. They are addicted to borrowing funds the country doesn't have to pay for things this country doesn't really need. Once you understand that they are addicts, you'll take these bold faced promises with a very large grain of salt.

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birdiestrachan 1 month, 1 week ago

doc keep on talking about transparency. But he keeps every thing in darkness including their travel reports. Perhaps they have not come up with a idea on how to hide the true accounting.

doc will lie and lie some more. like when he says he is going west and then goes East. doc what it means is your lied about where you were going.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

LIAR, LIAR, LIAR.......PANTS ON FIRE !!! LMAO

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bogart 1 month, 1 week ago

HE DOES INDEED NEED TO FIRE...FIRE...HIS ADVISORS...MINISTERS WITH ...INEPT HANDLING OF THE PEOPLES TAXPAYERS.......WHOSOEVER BOUGHT THE OLD BAHAMAS AIR JET and have the jet turned back because it did not have flighty safety devices along with the other jets who did not have the safety devices......whosoever bought the Lucayan and stick the taxpayers with the paying off the vendors, previous owners liabilities.........AND ...FIRE THE GOVT PAID EMPLOYEE....WHO DID NOT FURNISH THE OFFICIALS ...WITH THE PROPER CARD WITH THE CHIP TO USE IN BRUSSELS .....AND AND THE BAHAMIAN FOOD STORES ....STORES DONE ALREADY BEEN USING ...CHIP CARDS THAT CASHIERS JUST TAP THE CARD ON MACHINES FOR TRANSACTION...FIRE THE GOVT PEOPLE WHO INEPT NOT KNOWING THAT BAHAMAS BANKS FOR LONG TIME NOW ISSUING CHIP CARDS......

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joeblow 1 month, 1 week ago

... but they have been spending money unwisely for the past three years!

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bogart 1 month, 1 week ago

....@Joeblow good point....and the use of the words..... unwisely, ....irresponsible,...spend the people's money wild...First to be known is the Appraisal of the Lucayan Hotel being valued to be bought and value of the Hotel known before selling,....First the value of the bids of cleaning up by contractors of Shantytown known and now after money how much spent,...how much money the Contractor paid for drilling 800 ft wells. That made the news with drilling failures.....and yes all the govt agencies getting propped up and staff responsible for repeated failures ...still being employed......!!!!!....If the people have the right to fire govts every 5 years then why does the govt not able to investigate and fire staffing of these repeated failures propping up agencies....????

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Bahamianbychoice 1 month, 1 week ago

Ummm…..BPL.....millions and millions...and in worst state than when they started...and we have not yet seen the true costs to the GDP recognized. I have not heard that they secured support for this bond either.

If they have to borrow from the Central Bank...and in turn have the Central Bank reorganize their T Bills to a longer time limit to allow additional borrowing..that is very unnerving. Especially given the liquidity of the local banks. I hear local companies are not being paid as they should, and many are owed their VAT refunds.

It seems the government is forgoing their local obligations in order to facilitate their international obligations. That can only go on so long before the country defaults..

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

Money is now being paid out of Public Treasury to satisfy National Insurance obligations because the National Insurance fund Ponzi scheme has finally come to an end.

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Bahamianbychoice 1 month, 1 week ago

Wow....though not surprised to hear that...scary!

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bogart 1 month, 1 week ago

....NIB BOARD OF GOVERNORS....need to be requested to give answers on their stewardship of the peoples agency which affects the lives of all nation's population.....so when the Minister in charge last given public report...???

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

Thinks just maybe the red party should introduce their very own - thinks he actually was anointed by God leader - to the comrades over at colony's newest political party - the Kingdom Government Movement (KGM)? Can't write this. Just, can't, the striking similarities two comrade peas in a pod- or how that self description would rests Long Islands Comrade Sister Deaconess Loretta?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

You will never hear about sensible economic and social policies from Minnis and Turnquest. And that because for these two grossly incompetent and corrupt bozos, governing simply means: BORROW, BORROW, BORROW, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND and then TAX, TAX, TAX.

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