NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Opposition Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) slammed the Minnis-led administration on Tuesday, following the release of government’s third quarter financial snapshot.
“It is astounding to learn that the government is $1 billion dollars away from its annualized revenue target with only three months left in the fiscal year,” said Chester Cooper, the deputy leader of the Progressive Liberal Party and the party’s shadow minister of finance.
“It’s inconceivable that this administration budgeted so poorly.
“Value-added tax (VAT) was raised by 60 percent, yet the government is on track to fall short of its forecasted collection by hundreds of millions of dollars is a failure of epic proportions, despite the reported growth in the economy.”
Cooper said, “It is a failure that with three quarters of the year passed, only 63 per cent of revenue has been collected.”
The PLP deputy leader said he also found it laughable that finance minister Peter Turnquest suggested to reporters on Monday that government will meet its projected goals for the new fiscal period.
“Now the minister of finance suggests that next year, the budget targets are expected to be met. If they were so off with this budget exercise, why on earth would anyone believe they will craft a more realistic budget next year?” Cooper questioned.
He said the report is a “sad indictment on a lost administration,” and noted that the opposition will seek to have more input own government’s “fiscal failures” in the upcoming, legally mandated budget debate.
The budget debate is set for May 29th and is expected to be rolled out July 1.