DPM: Public treasury not empty

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Peter Turnquest.

The Bahamas’ Public Treasury is not in any financial dire straits despite much public concern according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest.

Turnquest told Eyewitness News Friday at the Hyatt Baha Mar Hotel that is not the case.

“When it’s said that the treasury is broke … it’s never broke unless the country,” Turnquest said.

“The Commonwealth of The Bahamas itself is insolvent.

“That doesn’t happen unless we (The Bahamas) cannot borrow any more.”

He noted that The Bahamas has always been able to finance its needs when it becomes necessary.

“To say that the treasury is broke is a sort of ‘colloquism’ but, what it does mean though is – we do have fiscal challenges that we have to overcome,” the finance minister confirmed.

“We do run a significant overdraft and we also have significant debt.

“The measures that we have taken in this budget  to try and stem the negative trend that has been happening so we can stop the bleed, so to speak and start to put us on a positive financial trajectory so we can get rid of this overdraft which is costing us (the country) many dollars to finance.”

According to Turnquest, The Bahamas is currently in $381 million dollars in debt.