PLP: FNM Government Misleading Bahamians Again

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PLP Senate leader Allyson Maynard Gibson at a mass rally in the Pinewood constituency.

Nassau, The Bahamas – Members of the Progressive Liberal Party made claim yesterday that the Free National Movement government is once again misleading the public as reported in the local dailies that the PLP “overspent by 170 million”. Below is the full text issued by the PLP.

PLP PRESS STATEMENT ON DEBATE OF APPROPRIATION BILLS 2006- 2007.
December 5, 2007.

Recent statements made by the Rt. Honourable Hubert Ingraham and the FNM in the House of Assembly and reported in the local dailies that the PLP “ overspent by 170 million” can only be described as a disgraceful attempt by this inept FNM government to mislead the Bahamian people and shift the focus away from its ruinous policy of stop, review and cancel which has brought an abrupt halt to the projected growth of the Bahamian economy and thereby taking $100 million out of the Bahamian economy.

The facts according to table ii of the Budget communication for 2007-2008 brought to parliament by non other than the Prime Minister himself in May 2007 show that the recurrent estimated expenditure was 1.386 billion and the projected expenditure was 1.360 billion which actually shows that on a net basis the PLP UNDERSPENT BY 26 MILLION on the recurrent side and not the 101 million as the FNM is falsely stating. Further, the budgeted capital expenditure for 2006-2007 was 196 million and the projected capital expenditure was 200 million a net overage of 4 million and not the 77.5 as falsely asserted by the FNM.

On the revenue side for 2006-2007 the PLP estimated 1.347 billion and the projected revenue was 1.356 billion. An overage of $9 million.

In short the PLP spent less than projected and collected more than was forecasted, therefore supporting the view that based on the facts the PLP were excellent steward’s of the Bahamian economy and now that the FNM government realizes that it is unable to match up to the performance of the Christie administration it has embarked on an evil and sinister plan to discredit the stellar management of the Bahamian economy by the PLP and in doing so are attempting to mislead the Bahamian people.

Mr. James Smith, the former Minister of Finance, one time Governor of the central bank and respected civil servant for more than 4 decades addressed these claims by the FNM months ago as was reported in the press that these misleading claims of the FNM were in effect nothing more than political optics. Yet the FNM in its desperation to mislead the Bahamian people continue to rehash half the truth.

The PLP understands that the FNM is jealous and envious of our record but the truth is the truth and the past the past so we advise them to marshal all of their energy and resources to restoring confidence in the Bahamian economy, addressing the pressing issues which affect our social well being such as crime, education and a multitude of social ills facing the country. Their actions over the past 7 months have clearly demonstrated that they have no meaningful agenda and no vision for a Bahamas in the 21st century.

  • Elcott Coleby

    It is a little known fact but is worth stating for the record. In ten years (1992-2002), $1.604 bil was invested in the Bahamian economy under the leadership of the FNM. Between 2002 and 2007, that figure jumped to $2.541 bil under the leadership of the PLP; this is some $900 mil more than the FNM in 10 years and yes this is unprecedented. What makes this economic feat more impressive and some say “a minor miracle”, was the fact that it happened during a sluggish United States economy that suffered a decline in its growth rate from 3.9% in 2004 to 2.2% in 2007. During this same period the Bahamas economy picked up steam and recorded 4.5% in 2007.

    The PLP must continue to hammer home the fact that the FNM governed during the single largest economic expansion of the US economy since the depression and the Bahamas benefitted by default. Ingraham and the FNM now have an opportunity to govern during a depressed and sluggish US economy and their performance is a relative failure thus far. They have managed to cause the Bahamian economy to stall and seek to conveniently hide behind the US housing debacle and subsequent economic down turn.

    The government will fail to meet its revenue targets, the projected $26 mil budgetary surplus is out the window and in January 2008, they will return to parliament to ask for more money to finance recurrent expenditure. Suffice it to say, their economic policy of “stop, review, and canccel” has backfired and must be classified as a “spectacular public policy failure”. No amount of propaganda, PR, and political spin can change this. They must accept full responsibility for this failure and the PLP parliamentarians must hold the govwernment’s feet to the fire on this.