NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The country’s economic development must move ‘beyond jobs’ to equity, a former Attorney General and QC said yesterday.
John Delaney spoke during a financial service sub-committee virtual town hall yesterday.
“Where we need to be at this point in our economic development is to move beyond jobs,” Delaney said.
“Jobs are important but we need to move beyond jobs to equity.”
He continued: “Bahamians need to have a stake and ownership in financial services. We need to have the finances here to service.
“If we have persons come here with their capital and wealth, something that started organically here 90 years ago, they are not going to be busy doing everything themselves. They want someone to help them with what they have.”
Delaney noted that family offices wer one such example.
These businesses offer wealth management services to a family or group of families.
He said that while helping to build wealthier Bahamians, the Bahamas must find ways to find ways to attract more persons and their capital to its shores.
He suggested that the grounds for permanent residency in The Bahamas could be expanded beyond owning a residence, such as the ability to purchase or invest in government bonds or establishing a business.
Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson noted that a taxation system that aligns with the needs of a modern Bahamas has to be implemented.
Johnson, co-chair of the ERC, said: “Part of what the ERC is doing is looking at the prospect of tax reform. We have to for any number of reasons. We have to figure out a way to put in place a tax system in line with the needs of a modern Bahamas.”
Johnson added: “It is a subject no one likes to touch because no one likes to pay taxes. I think it is long past the time if we want a sustainable path to development we have to be honest with ourselves about who we tax and how we tax.
“We are looking at it and I think we will make some very direct recommendations in the report.”