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$1bn difference in fiscal state? It is what it is

Prime Minister Philip 'Brave' Davis.

Prime Minister Philip 'Brave' Davis.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis yesterday responded to assertions made by his predecessor regarding his administration’s findings on the government’s fiscal position, insisting that a $1bn discrepancy in government liabilities that was uncovered is exactly “what it is”.

Mr Davis spoke to reporters a day after he revealed in the House of Assembly that his administration had discovered a $1bn difference in the former Free National Movement government’s pre-election report and the country’s actual liabilities.

 The $1bn discrepancy in government liabilities—meaning money owed—was unearthed by a renowned accounting firm, the prime minister told parliamentarians on Wednesday.

 However, former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has rejected the claims, calling Mr Davis’ statements “very reckless and dangerous”.

 The opposition has also suggested that the prime minister’s comments were misleading and lacked proper context.

 Responding yesterday, Mr Davis said: “Well, wait for the report from the independent accounting firm and then that will answer him. That’s what we found out and that’s what it is.”

 Yesterday, Mr Davis also defended his administration’s decision to eliminate the value added tax zero-rating on breadbasket items, a move the opposition believe will hurt the most vulnerable in Bahamian society. The government also intends to reduce vat to ten percent across the board.

 An International Monetary Fund September 2021 study has said narrowing the base of VAT through zero-rating and exemptions reduces efficiency, lowers revenue and increases administrative compliance costs.

 Referring to this study while responding to critics, the prime minister said: “I invite them to go and look at the modeling that was done by independent advisors who are more familiar with tax matters and it’s up at our website and they’ll see how we arrived at it.”

 Mr Davis spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Rubis gas station on Gladstone Road.

 The prime minister’s comments to the press comes as he prepares to head to Glasgow, Scotland for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference.

 Asked about his administration’s policy to combat climate change, he said: “Well, we have signed on to the Kyoto (Protocol.) We have signed on to the Paris Agreement and we intend to adopt those principals as our policy and pursue them. In fact, you would’ve seen most of them in our blueprint.”

Comments

tribanon 8 months ago

Love the headline to this story. Contemptible Davis's favourite useless saying that "It Is What It Is" immediately prompted me to think, "And You Davis, Are What You Are!"

The headline spared me the time of reading the article. There's only so much hogwash one can stomach and Davis is very capable of giving anyone more than a belly-full of it.

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Dawes 8 months ago

If you have the report then produce it. Otherwise stop saying its $1 billion when the report has not been finalized.

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realfreethinker 8 months ago

another distraction from mealy mouth Bwave.

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BONEFISH 8 months ago

I am not a fan or supporter of Phillip Davis. But what he said is very true. There are a number of contracts executed by the Ministry of Works at the end of the last financial year ,which were not included in the reports.

The FNM under Dr.Minnis is simply the nest side of a tarnish coin like the PLP. The same budgetary tricks under the PLP happened under the FNM. Smoke and Mirrors. Like some body said to me, SSDD.

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tribanon 8 months ago

Re-post:

The gestapo COVID-19 ambassadors are about to be re-trained to become the new gestapo VAT enforcers who will then be knocking on all doors as they go about hunting down the VAT dodging residential landlords.

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