Ingraham confirms 2009/10 revenue forecasted will be down

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  • media

    media :
    NEWS STATEMENT BY RT. HON. PERRY CHRISTIE MP
    LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
    THE 2009/2010 BUDGET COMMUNICATION.
    27th May, 2009
    For Immediate Release
    The Prime Minister’s budget statement was an exercise in describing the problem. It was sobering, depressing but more importantly did not offer any hope to the Bahamian people about how we are to get through these difficult times. There is nothing new in this budget statement. There was no plan, no blueprint for the future. He is simply waiting around for the world to change. While we must all accept the economic realities, we cannot waive the white flag of surrender as this government proposes to do.
    This budget inspires no hope. Do we stand still and do nothing hoping that the world changes? There is not one thing in the Prime Minister’s statement to use our ingenuity, creativity to inspire our people.
    The Prime Minister could have started by looking at his own Cabinet and cutting back its size. This might send a signal to the country that he is serious about fiscal austerity.
    The Prime Minister failed to present options to help us grow in these difficult times. We would have talked about the plan for agriculture and fisheries development. We would have outlined how we intend to develop the financial services sector. We would have outlined how the challenges of tourism are going to be met.
    We remind the Prime Minister with regard to changes in the terms and conditions of workers in the public service that those changes will require the concurrence of workers.
    We are especially concerned about the government’s decision to eliminate health insurance for nurses. This was a very strongly negotiated benefit, which nurses who are exposed to diseases on a daily basis require. We urge the government to reconsider this decision.
    We are also concerned that no mention was made about the much promoted drug prescription programme.
    What does this budget statement say to the children who are coming out of school this year about their futures? The people who are in college today. What will they do? What is the promise for them? The budget said nothing to the new college graduate, to the students at the College of The Bahamas, to the thousands coming out of high school this year.
    The Prime Minister’s tone throughout this budget does not lend itself to coming together. At a time when he should be calling the country together, the tone was strident and did not encourage us all to work together.
    Today, thousands of Bahamians who have lost their jobs, who are in danger of losing their homes and who are experiencing unprecedented stress and pressure and who are filled with despair waited and looked to the presentation of this budget for some glimmer of relief.
    They looked for a signal that the FNM administration has a sufficient grasp of the economic situation and sufficient vision to propose programs to stimulate the economy. They earnestly hoped that the administration had a plan that would allow them the opportunity to restore their dignity by having the opportunity to work and thereby provide for their families.
    Sadly, those many thousands of Bahamians are this afternoon very disappointed.
    Instead of a plan, instead of hope, what they have gotten yet again from the Prime Minister is a long description of what the problem is mixed in with self-congratulation over social service interventions.
    There was no recognition that the policies of this administration helped to put us in this situation. There is plenty on mechanics, talk of reform, passing laws, bringing into force new regulations, not hiring people. This is a budget that will inflict pain.
    We reiterate, and this is reinforced by no less than Standard and Poor’s that it is the policies of this government that stopped the momentum of this economy and undermined internal and external investor confidence.
    The termination of hundreds of public sector workers sent the signal to the private sector that they were free to lay off employees.
    We maintain that had the FNM not stopped the public infrastructure contracts, not delayed the approval of foreign direct investments left on the table by my government, the economy of the Bahamas may have been cushioned from the full effects of the global economic crisis.
    The FNM government’s decision to initiate budget cuts in its third year in office is an admission that its economic policies over the last 2 years have failed. The FNM government lack vision and the clarity of purpose that the Bahamian people need now to give them comfort and confidence in the government. This decision is also an admission that its economic stimulus package was too narrow in scope, therefore, could not and did not deliver the expected or needed stimulation to the Bahamian economy.
    Notwithstanding three devastating hurricanes in 2004, by 2006 the Bahamian economy emerged strong and robust, growing by 3.5% and was on course to grow by 4.5% in 2007. This present FNM government has borrowed more than one-half billion dollars in its first two years or some 7.5% of our GDP. This rate of borrowing is unsustainable. Having suffered a contraction of 1.7% in 2008 according to the Ministry of Finance and taking into account the government’s economic stimulus package, the IMF in its latest assessment of the Bahamian economy has predicted that the Bahamian economy will contract by an additional 4.5% in 2009. In other words, the economy will contract by a greater degree after the stimulus than before the stimulus. This prediction is an indictment against the FNM government that they are squandering the country’s scarce financial resources.
    We would be remiss if we did not mention that the FNM government met an offer on the table of $260 million for 49% of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company. The cash infusion from the sale of BTC would have financed one year of capital works and would have deferred this excessive borrowing and deficit spending that threatens to bankrupt this country. In the public’s interest, we must call into question the wisdom of the government’s fiscal and economic policies. The government has yet to give the country a reasonable explanation for its failure to accept the $260 million left in place by my administration and whether they will be held responsible for any amount received from the sale of BTC less than the 260 million my government left in place.
    The proposal for a national; training programme is consistent with the PLP’s view of steps that should be taken to prepare our people for skills that the economy requires.
    Persons enrolled in this program should be eligible for unemployment benefits while they are receiving their training. School leavers who join the programme should receive a stipend.
    The dual benefits are that we train our workforce while we offer certain assistance as long as they remain in the program or other government sponsored training programs. This ensures that recipients are receiving the necessary skills training to get them off welfare when the economy emerges from the recession. Welfare should always be tied to workfare because our national policy should always be geared toward elevating our people.

    We remind the Prime Minister of an ill-advised statement he made in 1992 under similar economic circumstances. He assessed the Bahamian economy and assigned blame this way:
    “Our homes are being auctioned off. Cars are being repossessed and sold. School fees can’t get paid. Lights are turned off. Babies pampers can’t be bought and babies crying for food. Things are tough and they ask us look at me? Yeah we looking at you.
    “We looking at you but instead of looking at you thousands of other Bahamians are waiting and praying and expecting that your husband who helped to bring on THIS MISERABLE way of life will soon be gone from the countenance of our country,” Hubert Ingraham said.

    We ask the PM and the FNM if they bear any responsibility for miserable way of life he so graphically described and should the Bahamian people justifiably wait, pray, and expect to see him and the FNM gone from the countenance of this country.
    We will have to carefully analyze the budget communication and the accompanying bills and speak to these more fully during the debate. We remind the public of the hidden tax increases in last year’s “poor man’s budget”. When confronted, the response of the Prime Minister was that everyone should have looked at documents more closely.
    Over the course of the ensuing debate, we will further outline our suggestions to restore the economy of the Bahamas.
    –END–
    EditModerateSpamDelete[Reply]

    Christie? Man listen he not only finally had something to say, but he came on BP and STOLE THAT LINE and gave NO credit! Here’s where that line came from BP BLOGGERS. July 27th in Grand Bahama as quoted in the Nassau Guardian.

    CLICK TO READ: http://www.bahamaspress.com/?s=J.+Henry+Bostwick

    NOW Deloris we’re looking to you….

    Bahamas Press/Editor

  • Examiner

    a href=”#comment-18087″>@Drama King
    BP, you have caused PC to get off his duff and say something. Boy this blog is powerful. Keep putting the heat on him.

  • Drama King

    Perry “Vomit” Christie actually saying SOMETHING???!! Wow!!

  • media

    NEWS STATEMENT BY RT. HON. PERRY CHRISTIE MP
    LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

    THE 2009/2010 BUDGET COMMUNICATION.

    27th May, 2009

    For Immediate Release

    The Prime Minister’s budget statement was an exercise in describing the problem. It was sobering, depressing but more importantly did not offer any hope to the Bahamian people about how we are to get through these difficult times. There is nothing new in this budget statement. There was no plan, no blueprint for the future. He is simply waiting around for the world to change. While we must all accept the economic realities, we cannot waive the white flag of surrender as this government proposes to do.

    This budget inspires no hope. Do we stand still and do nothing hoping that the world changes? There is not one thing in the Prime Minister’s statement to use our ingenuity, creativity to inspire our people.

    The Prime Minister could have started by looking at his own Cabinet and cutting back its size. This might send a signal to the country that he is serious about fiscal austerity.

    The Prime Minister failed to present options to help us grow in these difficult times. We would have talked about the plan for agriculture and fisheries development. We would have outlined how we intend to develop the financial services sector. We would have outlined how the challenges of tourism are going to be met.

    We remind the Prime Minister with regard to changes in the terms and conditions of workers in the public service that those changes will require the concurrence of workers.

    We are especially concerned about the government’s decision to eliminate health insurance for nurses. This was a very strongly negotiated benefit, which nurses who are exposed to diseases on a daily basis require. We urge the government to reconsider this decision.

    We are also concerned that no mention was made about the much promoted drug prescription programme.

    What does this budget statement say to the children who are coming out of school this year about their futures? The people who are in college today. What will they do? What is the promise for them? The budget said nothing to the new college graduate, to the students at the College of The Bahamas, to the thousands coming out of high school this year.

    The Prime Minister’s tone throughout this budget does not lend itself to coming together. At a time when he should be calling the country together, the tone was strident and did not encourage us all to work together.

    Today, thousands of Bahamians who have lost their jobs, who are in danger of losing their homes and who are experiencing unprecedented stress and pressure and who are filled with despair waited and looked to the presentation of this budget for some glimmer of relief.

    They looked for a signal that the FNM administration has a sufficient grasp of the economic situation and sufficient vision to propose programs to stimulate the economy. They earnestly hoped that the administration had a plan that would allow them the opportunity to restore their dignity by having the opportunity to work and thereby provide for their families.

    Sadly, those many thousands of Bahamians are this afternoon very disappointed.

    Instead of a plan, instead of hope, what they have gotten yet again from the Prime Minister is a long description of what the problem is mixed in with self-congratulation over social service interventions.

    There was no recognition that the policies of this administration helped to put us in this situation. There is plenty on mechanics, talk of reform, passing laws, bringing into force new regulations, not hiring people. This is a budget that will inflict pain.

    We reiterate, and this is reinforced by no less than Standard and Poor’s that it is the policies of this government that stopped the momentum of this economy and undermined internal and external investor confidence.

    The termination of hundreds of public sector workers sent the signal to the private sector that they were free to lay off employees.

    We maintain that had the FNM not stopped the public infrastructure contracts, not delayed the approval of foreign direct investments left on the table by my government, the economy of the Bahamas may have been cushioned from the full effects of the global economic crisis.

    The FNM government’s decision to initiate budget cuts in its third year in office is an admission that its economic policies over the last 2 years have failed. The FNM government lack vision and the clarity of purpose that the Bahamian people need now to give them comfort and confidence in the government. This decision is also an admission that its economic stimulus package was too narrow in scope, therefore, could not and did not deliver the expected or needed stimulation to the Bahamian economy.

    Notwithstanding three devastating hurricanes in 2004, by 2006 the Bahamian economy emerged strong and robust, growing by 3.5% and was on course to grow by 4.5% in 2007. This present FNM government has borrowed more than one-half billion dollars in its first two years or some 7.5% of our GDP. This rate of borrowing is unsustainable. Having suffered a contraction of 1.7% in 2008 according to the Ministry of Finance and taking into account the government’s economic stimulus package, the IMF in its latest assessment of the Bahamian economy has predicted that the Bahamian economy will contract by an additional 4.5% in 2009. In other words, the economy will contract by a greater degree after the stimulus than before the stimulus. This prediction is an indictment against the FNM government that they are squandering the country’s scarce financial resources.

    We would be remiss if we did not mention that the FNM government met an offer on the table of $260 million for 49% of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company. The cash infusion from the sale of BTC would have financed one year of capital works and would have deferred this excessive borrowing and deficit spending that threatens to bankrupt this country. In the public’s interest, we must call into question the wisdom of the government’s fiscal and economic policies. The government has yet to give the country a reasonable explanation for its failure to accept the $260 million left in place by my administration and whether they will be held responsible for any amount received from the sale of BTC less than the 260 million my government left in place.

    The proposal for a national; training programme is consistent with the PLP’s view of steps that should be taken to prepare our people for skills that the economy requires.

    Persons enrolled in this program should be eligible for unemployment benefits while they are receiving their training. School leavers who join the programme should receive a stipend.

    The dual benefits are that we train our workforce while we offer certain assistance as long as they remain in the program or other government sponsored training programs. This ensures that recipients are receiving the necessary skills training to get them off welfare when the economy emerges from the recession. Welfare should always be tied to workfare because our national policy should always be geared toward elevating our people.

    We remind the Prime Minister of an ill-advised statement he made in 1992 under similar economic circumstances. He assessed the Bahamian economy and assigned blame this way:

    “Our homes are being auctioned off. Cars are being repossessed and sold. School fees can’t get paid. Lights are turned off. Babies pampers can’t be bought and babies crying for food. Things are tough and they ask us look at me? Yeah we looking at you.

    “We looking at you but instead of looking at you thousands of other Bahamians are waiting and praying and expecting that your husband who helped to bring on THIS MISERABLE way of life will soon be gone from the countenance of our country,” Hubert Ingraham said.

    We ask the PM and the FNM if they bear any responsibility for miserable way of life he so graphically described and should the Bahamian people justifiably wait, pray, and expect to see him and the FNM gone from the countenance of this country.

    We will have to carefully analyze the budget communication and the accompanying bills and speak to these more fully during the debate. We remind the public of the hidden tax increases in last year’s “poor man’s budget”. When confronted, the response of the Prime Minister was that everyone should have looked at documents more closely.

    Over the course of the ensuing debate, we will further outline our suggestions to restore the economy of the Bahamas.
    –END–