NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The Office of the Prime Minister yesterday slammed the Free National Movement (FNM) and leader Michael Pintard over criticisms of the recent budget communication, arguing that the former administration left the country in an “economic mess.”
In a statement last night Office of the Prime Minister said, “By any measure, the FNM left The Bahamian economy in an economic mess. Thousands of Bahamians were out of work because of the lockdowns, businesses were on the edge of collapse because they couldn’t operate in the evenings, and hospitals were over- crowded, flooding and crumbling. People were sleeping in their cars, and children were stuck at home, unable to get a proper education. The Bahamas was in an economic crisis! “
The statement further noted that the FNM left a debt of $10 billion, having borrowed $2 billion per year “without a single road, school, hospital or clinic to show for it.”
“And worse, they were planning to inflict massive tax rises on Bahamians to pay for their incompetence, just like they did when, without warning they jacked up VAT by 60 percent. To hear the Leader of The Opposition now make factually incorrect accusations against the government’s budget is the worst kind of hypocrisy. We are still having to clean up the mess they left behind. But we are not putting the burden onto Bahamian taxpayers, but now the FNM claims that we’re hurting foreigners. Every single time a choice has to be made, the FNM favour the rich and the foreigners over ordinary Bahamians.”
The statement also noted that major investments are bringing Family Island economies back to life. The combined GDP of Cat Island, San Salvador, and Rum Cay experienced a remarkable growth of 39 per cent. Exuma experienced significant growth of 33 per cent in its GDP compared to the previous year, and Andros’ GDP reached its highest level in 8 years, with significant growth of 6.2 per cent.
Economic Affairs Minister Michael Halkitis during a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister last week said the Davis administration’s fiscal plans have “born fruit,” arguing that considerable effort was made to rescue the nation’s economy from the fiscal cliff.
“We laid out a plan and our plan born fruit. We are on the verge of less than a one cent deficit next year and a balanced and budget the year following. We believe that our plan is working,” said Halkitis.
Following Prime Minister Philip Davis’ budget communication last week Opposition leader Michael Pintard said the 2023/2024 budget failed to live up to the hype and failed to to address several significant issues.