“Any party believing that after this election it’s going to be a bed of roses is mistaken”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Businessman and former Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader Branville McCartney said yesterday that the incoming administration will have to make some very unpopular decisions, warning Bahamians to brace themselves for direct or indirect tax increases.
McCartney told Eyewitness News that an incoming administration would have to tackle the COVID-19 crisis “head-on”, balancing health and economic concerns.
“Some very unpopular decisions will have to be made relative to COVID,” said McCartney.
“I would think that there will be more restrictions in connection with trying to get this COVID situation under control. That’s going to be a priority with any government.
“They are going to have to make some serious and unpopular decisions. It’s no walk in the park. Any party believing that after this election it’s going to be a bed of roses is mistaken.
“The pandemic hit and brought everything to a standstill. With the handling of pandemic, we also have to balance the economic concerns. We have to be in a position where people are able to go to work and sustain themselves.”
McCartney noted that an incoming administration will be challenged with managing the country’s $10 billion debt.
“We have a huge debt. The next administration must look for ways to repay that,” said McCartney.
“Our main industry is tourism and the reality is the new administration must start looking at other industries so we can generate income as a country for the benefit of the Bahamian people.
“We have to diversify our economy. This is something I have been saying for many years.
“Diversification is key. It is no longer something to pay lip service to at election time.
“I know putting it into effect takes time but the pandemic, in my view, is a wake-up call for this country in terms of moving towards economic diversification.”
He added: “We have not diversified our economy and the government of the day will have to look at ways of showing how they can repay this debt.
“The only way they can do it at this stage is via taxes. That’s not something I would want but you have to be realistic.
“No party is saying that now because the reality is if they did, the Bahamian people would not vote for them.
“I believe that a new administration within a few short months will find themselves very unpopular.”