Meantime PM “disturbed” by comments
Government debated and passed the Economic Empowerment Zone Bill in the House of Assembly last evening paving the way for Over-the-Hill communities to become tax-free zones.
Debate on the Bill however did not come without criticism as Opposition Leader Philip Davis lambasted government over the initiative that he categorized as “flawed” and in his view would lead to gentrification.
Davis indicated that the bill was a “sham” and “falls short” for meeting the needs and addressing the dire situation of the impoverished living in over-the-hill communities.
The Bill he added would lead to an increase in property value and taxes for residents who are unable to afford it.
This notion was supported by Exuma and Ragged Island Member of Parliament Chester Cooper who argued that the Bill was evidence that the Free National Movement (FNM) does not care about the poor.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis reiterated his confidence in the Bill and said he was “disturbed” by Cooper’s comments.
“I think they (PLP) are politically scared that residents in these communities will see the stark difference between the PLP neglect and the hope and opportunity being ushered in by the FNM.”
The bill and concessions offered he said, is the catalyst needed to spur economic growth in the impoverished communities.
The Bill now makes its way to the Senate for debate next week and the House of Assembly resumes on September 19.