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Pm: Bahamasair May Have To Defer Portion Of Salaries During Pandemic

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune staff

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune staff

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has suggested the national airline may have to consider whether to pay Bahamasair staff a portion of their salaries as the airline has reduced flights due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, with the deferred amount paid once the pandemic is over.

He made the remark Thursday morning as he led debate on a resolution to extend the country’s state of emergency until September 30.

Dr Minnis said it is a “difficult decision” but it is something officials have to think about in the midst of this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

He said “should we make such a decision” regarding deferring the pay of Bahamasair workers, politicians should be prepared to defer a portion of their own salaries as well.

He told the House of Assembly the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the worst emergency in our modern history. The state of emergency began in March and will last many more months until a vaccine is created, he added. He said the extension is needed so the government can act quickly and decisively.

“Bahamians should be prepared to stop and start. In this marathon we should work as a team,” he said.

He also said: “We have some very difficult days and weeks ahead, as I’ve said before. .. COVID is not going anywhere. . . We must make decisions and determination as to what we can live with. Our life as we knew yesterday will change.

“Therefore, if we are to do better. . .at least let’s be prepared. It means that our lifestyle has to change. The minister of health will talk about that repeatedly, we must exercise more, we must eat healthier. . .we must eat less mechanised and processed food. We must become healthier, if we are healthier individuals, we are in better positions to survive and withstand whatever type of disease comes our way.”

He reminded the public to wear a mask, wash their hands and to avoid large gatherings.

There is an emergency Cabinet meeting at 6pm today with health officials. Dr Minnis has invited leader of the opposition, Philip “Brave” Davis and deputy leader, Chester Cooper to the meeting so they can hear the advice from health officials first hand.

Comments

ISpeakFacts 1 year, 4 months ago

Minnis: "We, as government, refused to make such a decision to place a travel embargo on Bahamians and allow others to come in. I would have been accused and the government would have been accused of being dictatorial. We were afraid to make that decision. We were already being threatened by members of the opposition to be taken to court on constitutional violations."

SPINLESS COWARD, RESIGN IMMEDIATELY!!!

"Renward Wells recited scripture and called COVID-19 the devil. He did not provide an analysis of the recent surge in cases in The Bahamas. It is unclear when the next Ministry of Health press conference will be held."

OUR NEW MINISTER OF HEALTH EVERYBODY.. WE ARE DOOMED!!!

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moncurcool 1 year, 4 months ago

So are you in support of the government taking away the constitutional rights Bahamians to travel? Do you favour a dictatorship?

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tribanon 1 year, 4 months ago

And of course you think Minnis is not behaving as a dictator, one so drunk on his new powers that he can't think straight, not that he ever could. Go figure!

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moncurcool 1 year, 4 months ago

So what are the dictatorial things he is doing? Give me the facts and I will tell you if I agree or not.

If you say there have been bad decision that is another tings, and I agree on that.

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ISpeakFacts 1 year, 4 months ago

(@moncurcool LOL so you dont have anything to say about Pastor Renward Wells???) I would say Dictator Minnis has lost all his marbles, but he never had any! He's too worried about what Gravy Davis and the opposition thinks of him, hence why he opened our borders and put the country at risk! Minnis is too big of a coward to admit his mistakes so he brings up the opposition instead LOOOL. Minnis also leaves out the fact that HE gave the D- population the ability to travel without needing to quarantine or receive a Chinese Virus test upon arrival. I always thought Minnis was a wicked fool, then Dorian exposed his nasty behaviour even more, but this Chinese Virus is just toying with Minnis at this point, Minnis has shown the entire world that HE is the one not ready for Prime Time!

Dictator "Idiot" Minnis and Phillip "Gravy" Davis both need to stop playing politics, they need to focus on saving lives, this lack of leadership along with its D- population are just few of many reasons why this country keeps heading backwards!

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moncurcool 1 year, 4 months ago

No I don't have anything to say about Wells, but I I don't support the repressing constitutional rights.

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bogart 1 year, 4 months ago

Hotel workers gone home now collectin reduced income unemployment benefits, plenty people on grits an cornbeef watered down to stretch it, plenty slam bam, tuna an grits, Stores workers gone home collectin unemployment, taxi drivers, bus drivers, John Bull lay off workers, Cavalier shut down, Taylor store shut down not enough business, .thousands workers none or vastly reduced unsustainable business get laid off......furthermore...so why should the thousands an thousands unemployed .......having to pay commanded VAT regressive taxes.... to be paying salaries for more than ever in history Covid 19 pandemic adversely affecting all .....having to pay salaries to already unsustainable Bahamasair whichinin hav lil or no business.

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tribanon 1 year, 4 months ago

To help conserve our scarce foreign currency reserves:

1) All emolument payments for Bahamasair's staff stationed in the US should cease at the earliest possible time.

2) Force majeure clauses in contracts the government (and government controlled entities) have with foreign parties should be invoked/declared where the goods and/or services are either no longer being provided or are no longer needed as a result of the economic impact and/or health restrictions associated with Covid-19.

3) The complement of staff maintained at our embassies and consular offices around the world should be reduced to the absolute minimum necessary, with smaller less important foreign diplomat offices closed altogether.

4) Turnquest and his finance people should undertake a very careful review of all budgeted foreign currency payments over the next year to determine the 'taps' that can and should be turned off to avoid unnecessary pressure on our dwindling supply of foreign currency reserves.

5) Stubborn thick headed Minnis must be made to understand that there will come a point in time when we can no longer afford additional hard currency borrowings from foreign lenders without draconian devaluation consequences for the Bahamian dollar and a dire increase in the cost of living for all Bahamians.

And no matter how much more desperate things may become, we must refrain from accepting 'gifts' of any kind offered by the very sinister and evil Communist Party of China because of the most harmful strings that will undoubtedly be attached to same.

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TalRussell 1 year, 4 months ago

Must asks, shouldn't we Queen not be preppin' be's dispatching her standby governing team to setup be stationed at the barracks at the ready atop Mount Fitzwilliam in the event of the collapse of The Colony's Central Authority? Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 4 months ago

Exercise more?? He closes the beach every chance he gets.

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hrysippus 1 year, 4 months ago

Bahmasair is a complete waste of taxpayer money. it would be less expensive to pay each and every Bahamasair employee a salary of $95,000 per year and have them stay home. We would save millions each year....

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ForeverDreamer 1 year, 4 months ago

Factually incorrect. It would only pay 145 persons at that salary in comparison to annual subvention/contribution. When they have around 600 persons employed.

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hrysippus 1 year, 4 months ago

Hi Fourfever Dreamer, thanks for the correction. I was only picking figures out a hat to make a point. So pay these 600 state employed $25,000 per year. to stay home and do nothing.. That should match the subvention and will save millions on the unfunded pensions, vehicle maintenance, insurance, nib contributions, airport landing fees, aviation costs, etc., etc., etc..

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bogart 1 year, 4 months ago

....and the horrible CHRISTMAS TIME DAYS STRIKES pilots sickouts, strikes over decades taking it out of same public, whose taxes and more regressive VAT taxes paying salaries. Remember the Bahamasair Strikes and strikes they made the Public suffer over the years.

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bogart 1 year, 4 months ago

see Tribune article "Govt 'kicks can down the road ....Bahamasair'"June25, 2018. It seems the legacy debt since 1973 is over half a billion dollars taxpayers money. A very interesting article.

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longgone 1 year, 4 months ago

Come on Tal---QE 2 got much more important things on her plate in the UK---She ain't gunna pay the Bahamas no mind in this day and time!

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My2Cents 1 year, 4 months ago

Bahamasair shouldn’t be the only sacrificial lamb. The Public Service workforce in general has been bloated for years. Now is the time to make the difficult decisions needed to reduce the burdensome cost on the public purse. Our tax dollars are paying possibly hundreds of individuals who are simply not needed and are only collecting a salary. Cut the public service workforce by 10-20%. If private sector companies are forced to make these decisions, why shouldn’t the government when its billions of dollars in debt? Much of the salaries being paid amount to social welfare. Might as well reallocate that money to NIB and Social Services.

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