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BUDGET: Halkitis hints at homeowner help

ECONOMIC Affairs Minister Michael Halkitis.

ECONOMIC Affairs Minister Michael Halkitis.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

SOME relief to the public and incentives to promote homeownership will be some of the features of the Davis administration’s first full budget presentation today, according to Economic Affairs Minister Michael Halkitis.

In foreshadowing what Bahamians could expect, the minister told reporters yesterday that the budget will also tend to the key priorities of the government, which include proper handling of the nation’s finances, adequate funding in education, as well as security and health.

He also ruled out the possibility of the government raising taxes.

“What you can expect is, of course, this is the first full budget of this administration and you can expect to see us bringing some relief to the public,” he told reporters yesterday before going into Cabinet where the executive branch of government were said to be putting the final touches on the highly anticipated budget. “You can expect to see some incentives to promote things like homeownership, investment in business, investment in green energy, and efforts to promote the economy.

“We are making efforts to ensure that what we call the key priorities of the government are properly financed, talking about education, security, health, etc, and so stay tuned for tomorrow.”

Asked about tax increases, Mr Halkitis said: “No, as the prime minister has said repeatedly, that's an absolute last resort. We’re not anticipating that, well, we’re not doing that.

“Our view is that we need to grow the economy. We are still emerging from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very optimistic and encouraged by the signs that we see coming out of the economy in terms of people being employed. If you look around the construction that’s going on, the investment in the country. So, we’re in terms of the tourism industry, very strong and so we’re encouraged by that, but we believe that any increase in taxation would tend to work against that recovery.

“So, our view is we need to encourage the continued growth of the economy, employment, spending in the economy and another thing that we’re doing as we have been speaking about is ensuring that in tandem with that we are improving our revenue collection.

“So, what’s on the books: people who can afford to pay and owe, we make sure that we have the mechanism in place for them to pay and for us to collect and we continue to seek out new sources of revenue.”

He also said there would be focus on monetising carbon credits as a source of revenue, adding that as opposed to increased taxation, the focus would be on growing the economy and doing a better job of collecting money that is outstanding.

Government will also focus on managing spending and eliminating waste as much as possible.

These things, he said, will assist in the road to economic recovery.

Comments

Sickened 1 month ago

Excellent! So it's looks like the lending rates for homes will stay the same for the next 4 years.

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tribanon 1 month ago

Nothing but the usual BS.

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tribanon 1 month ago

BREAKING NEWS

Minister of Housing and Transport JoBeth Coleby-Davis has denied claims she weoponized a vehicle she was driving to knock down and seriously injure a police officer she had an altercation with at a carnival event over the weekend.

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