A $100 million loan from the the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is up for consideration by government to bail out, once again, Resolve Bahamas. The company was created to absorb bad loans from the Bank of The Bahamas un 2014 under the former administration.
Deputy Prime mInister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest moved the resolution in the House of Assembly Wednesday during his contribution to the mid year budget debate. The Finance Minister reasoned that the loan was necessary due to Chrisite administration’s poor mishandling of the country’s finances
He gave several examples of the significant bills left to be paid following the 2017 general election.
“It is claimed that the former government committed $18 million to support the printing of The Bahamas Handbook and the in-room tourist guides but it only paid $500,000 towards that bill,” he said.
“The former administration did not put the work out to contract nor send it to cabinet for approval. It is now up to our government to sort this matter out and investigate the $17.5 million that is supposedly still owed.”
Despite high debt levels, Turnquest told parliamentarians that the new Free National Movement administration has made inroads to shore up the economy.
“Irrespective of the baseless and empty rhetoric that we have heard following the presentation of the Mid-Year Statement, our Government does have a very clear guiding vision for a better future for Bahamians, with both a stronger economy and enhanced job opportunities. We also have a plan for getting there.”
Turnquest said the elimination of the annual Government deficit that is a direct cause of increased borrowing is paramount.
“Eliminating the deficit and getting to a lower debt burden are also vital to recreating the fiscal room to manoeuvre that is prudently required to allow the country to deal with unforeseen economic and other shocks, such as hurricanes, that may present themselves in the period ahead,” he said.
“Ours is now the task of putting order in the public finances of our nation to arrest the seemingly inexorable rise in the burden of Government debt that hangs like the proverbial albatross around the neck of Bahamian society and our economy.”