Englerston MP and Former Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna- Martin Thursday condemned the government for the value-added tax (VAT) increase during the tabling of the 2018/2019 budget in the House of Assembly (HOA) last week.
During a meeting held at EP Roberts Primary School with Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) supporters, Hanna-Martin shared her disdain in the Free National Movement’s (FNM) administration indicating that the new tax hike puts “puts Bahamian people at greater risk” when trying to keep up with their day to day bills.
Citing a study conducted by The Central Bank of The Bahamas, Hanna-Martin stated that “more than half of Bahamian adult’s salaries in households are unable to meet their expenses.”
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Finance announced to the Bahamian public the landmark budget, as he phrased it which according to Hanna-Martin puts the average Bahamian at risk across the board.
Responding to the finance minister’s claims of the budget being the most transformative for The Bahamas, Hanna-Martin said, “this is the most transformative because they have introduced taxation across the board that has never been seen in the history of this country.”
Harping on the government’s campaign agenda before elections May 10 2017, Hanna-Martin highlighted that the government “claimed that they are accountable and responsible…they used all these wonderful words about who they are.
“Let us not forget (while we assess who they are), this is the same group who voted against VAT, who spoke against VAT and said it was horrible and regressive,” the former transport and aviation minster affirmed.
According to Hanna-Martin, the (then) former leader of the opposition said, “I don’t believe in taxes, I believe in decreasing taxes and increasing opportunities. Increasing taxes is a lazy way out; when you don’t want to think, you just tax,” (now) Prime Minster Dr. Hubert Minnis said during a press conference held at his house.
Hanna-Martin noted that her perception is that the government has yet to be accountable and transparent about anything.