Press Secretary Clint Watson.
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
BEFORE the end of this year the Davis administration expects to bring before Parliament three pieces of key legislation, including one that will decrease value added tax to 10 percent from the current rate of 12 percent.
According to Press Secretary Clint Watson yesterday, the government also plans to present to the House of Assembly a Bill for the promised pension increase and a merchant shipping Bill. The latter Bill is in keeping with the Progressive Liberal Party’s campaign promise to boost the blue economy.
Apart from working on its legislative agenda, Mr Watson said the government is working on board appointments.
Further, he said, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis wanted to ensure continuity of The Bahamas’ international agenda by allowing existing overseas appointees to wrap up ongoing affairs within 90 days.
“The purpose of the legislation is to bring much needed relief to the Bahamian people and set the foundation for economic recovery,” Mr Watson said during his first press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday.
“While working towards a substantive legislative agenda and policy priorities, the government will be completing board appointments for all 140 boards by next week Wednesday.
“Cabinet has been very active and busy going through that work.
“The government has also given a 90-day notice to overseas appointees to allow sufficient time for the winding up of ongoing affairs as a gesture of good faith in the interest of political maturity and government continuity.”
Mr Watson continued: “Prime Minister Davis has made it intentionally his mandate to allow the smooth transition to allow persons already in the office to continue working as they wind up their affairs so the business of The Bahamas internationally can continue and be transitioned smoothly.”
In its Speech from the Throne earlier this month, the new Davis administration promised to increase pensions for the elderly and raise benefits for the disabled community as a part of its plan to improve social assistance.
At the time the administration also reiterated its promises of a minimum wage increase, expanded social benefits and additional relief measures for storm impacted residents on Abaco, Grand Bahama and Ragged Island.