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‘PLP enriching friends while public suffers’

Dr Hubert Minnis

Dr Hubert Minnis

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis criticised the government yesterday for “enriching the lives of their friends, families and allies” while the public suffers.

In a statement, Dr Minnis said the country’s negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the second consecutive year is “worrisome” and confirms that The Bahamas “is in trouble”.

“Bahamians don’t need an economist to figure out that the economy is shrinking. They look around to see friends, neighbours, or family members out of work and losing their homes, empty storefronts, the Baha Mar an empty shell with no activity and rising crime. Our people are struggling yet this government is focused on enriching their friends and allies, and not turning around our stagnant economy,” Dr Minnis said.

“Times are good for them, but bad for the ordinary Bahamian. They are still awarding lucrative government contracts to their friends and allies. They turn a blind eye to rampant corruption that infects every aspect of what they touch as our people continue to suffer.

“Over the course of one year, we saw drastic drops in both our exports and our imports. On top of all this our debt is over 70 per cent of the GDP. Our economic situation is going from bad to worse with no plan from this government to turn things around. In fact their failures are only adding to our problems. Their reckless spending is siphoning money away from public services in order to service the debt.”

According to data from the Department of Statistics published in Tribune Business on Monday, the real or “constant price” GDP contracted by 1.66 per cent last year. That represented a second consecutive year of decline, following a 0.52 per cent fall in 2014, suggesting the Bahamian economy has been in recession for two years, Tribune Business reported.

The data also showed that the value of Bahamian goods and services exports, in current prices, declined by 6.6 per cent year-over-year in 2015. Measured in constant prices, they were down 7.2 per cent.

This was driven by a 35.8 per cent fall in the worth of goods exports, with mineral fuels and oils down $95 million. Chemicals and related product exports decreased by $110.7 million, while local spending by international (offshore) companies dropped 8.3 per cent.

Goods imports, which normally account for 70 per cent of all imports to the Bahamas, fell by 16.6 per cent when measured in current prices – aided chiefly by the drop in global oil prices.

The value of imported mineral products dropped by $333.2 million or 34.8 per cent, while iron/steel articles were down by $43.1 million or 32.3 per cent.

The worth of imported machinery equipment declined by $59.6 million or 12.2 per cent, while optical photographic and measuring apparatus experienced a $40.9 million or 59.5 per cent drop in value.

Services imports slumped in value by 31.8 per cent, with construction leading the way through a 64.9 per cent or $417.3 million decline.

Comments

Economist 8 years, 2 months ago

Oh wow, so you are saying something that we all know.

You had a great deal of information on the economy and our suffering, which was good.

But instead of castigating the government for incompetent governance of our economy you wined about favoritism and took the subject back to party politics.

So all we heard was Dr. Minnis wining about how the PLP is giving its cronies favours and contracts.

Missed the boat again Doc.

DDK 8 years, 2 months ago

Do you not think you should cut the Good Doctor just a bit of slack?

sheeprunner12 8 years, 2 months ago

We the citizens of The Bahamas look forward to a profoundly salient and practical Budget presentation from the FNM next month ....... no time for gimmicks and mud-slinging ........ let the Nygard by-gones be by-gones ... focus on presenting the FNM as a viable alternative to the present government ........ recent fiscal reports have provided more than enough proof that the PLP has done absolutely NOTHING to improve this economy since 2012.

That is the last chance that the FNM will have to present its official high profile position on the State of the Nation in Parliament before the next Election ........ don't blow it

TruePeople 8 years, 2 months ago

The PLP actually negatively effected this economy.......

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John 8 years, 2 months ago

When I mentioned since last year that the country was going into in a recession, while it had not yet climbed out of the one that started in 2008 persons tended to brush it off with statements like 'lets not talk hard times on ourselves or the country." But the facts are there, the economy is sliding for the second straight year and the 'big grab' government is taking out of the economy with VAT and other increases in taxes and costs of living will eventually hit the economic fan. One of the reason the recession is so well disguised is Bahamians have become resailent and, even though battle fatigued, they have become accustomed to hard times. Many are living without electricity, their cable and phones are off, the cupboards are empty and they live from day to day mostly on hope. Many small and medium stores have closed and many have not seen a profit in almost a decade. And there is no help or hope on the horizon. Unemployment is at an all time high, especially among the young people and even more so among the young male population. Hence the challenge in crime and criminal activity. The biggest mistake the government made was trying to tax itself out of a recession. While this yielded positive results in the short term, it is nothing more than a depressed economy feeding on itself.. If there is no real growth and reduction in the unemployment numbers, trouble stands ahead.

Sickened 8 years, 2 months ago

Well said John. Unemployment is a HUGE issue for us and our economy only slows down more and more each day. The future is still not looking bright and our 'battle fatigued' may soon throw down their weapons and leave the field.

asiseeit 8 years, 2 months ago

MAN, Who let the secret out the bag? This country is going in reverse.

asiseeit 8 years, 2 months ago

Poor government leads to a poor nation. The public treasury can no longer support these people's appetites. This minority (the political elite and their set) are holding each and every Bahamian down through their inside, dirty, parasitic, dealings. Money is spent with no regard. The product the Bahamian people are receiving from the government is substandard. Management is nowhere to be seen and when questioned, hostile. The business model is 60 years old. New thinking and business are held back by the very thing that would benefit, government.Education is minimal at best. How pathetic can a country get.

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