Says FNM has done nothing but take credit for the PLP’s work
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said yesterday that despite the pat on the back from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the success of the economy has nothing to do with Free National Movement (FNM).
During a press conference at the Progressive Liberal Party’s headquarters on Tuesday, Davis said the IMF report does not accurately reflect what is happening in the country or the “social pain being inflicted.”
“The focus was purely on the national balance sheet. [It was on the] fiscal deficit and not the social deficit, which continues to widen,” Davis said.
“The successes of this economy have absolutely nothing to do with anything the FNM did. It boils down to two things, no hurricanes and the positive impact of the Baha Mar project…The FNM has done nothing but take credit for the PLP’s work.”
A recent review by the IMF commended the government for several key policy initiatives, including the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018, and its strategic plan to create a Disaster Relief Fund.
Following its December visit, which was conducted to review the latest economic developments and to prepare for the April 2019 Article IV Consultation, the IMF published favourable feedback in an interim report on The Bahamas, which highlighted the positive strides made by the Bahamian government.
The IMF Mission outlined key economic indicators in its report, which stated that the Bahamian economy continued to recover, with real GDP growth projected to reach 2.3 per cent in 2018 and 2.1 per cent in 2019.
It outlined that the fiscal deficit narrowed from 5.5 per cent of GDP in fiscal year 2017 to an estimated 3.3 per cent in fiscal year 2018.
Davis also criticized the Non-Profit Organization Bill that he claims was riddled with issues from inception.
Senators delayed passage of the bill on Monday to allow for more consultation following recommendations submitted by civil society, according to Attorney General Carl Bethel.
If passed the bill would require non-profits to maintain financial statements, showing all income and spending. Several churches and civic groups have spoken out against the bill.
“[As for] the NPO Bill it was prudent of them [Senators] to wait and not proceed because it has its challenges,” he said.
“I know the churches are concerned about it and the president of the Christian Council and I know the sporting communities also had concerns and so more thought has to be given before that is passed.”