Davis responds to Peter Turnquest’s ill-tempered and emotional statement

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STATEMENT FROM THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION RESPONDING TO THE MINISTER OF FINANCE

Opposition Leader Hon. Philip Brave Davis Q.C.

26 November 2019

Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest speaking on the 12% Vat hike on Bahamians with the press. file

The Minister of Finance disappoints the country by his ill-tempered and emotional statement responding to me.

Here are the unvarnished facts about his performance as minister.

He presented a Fiscal Strategy Report that created more questions than answers provided. If he bothered to read or listen to the comments in the media and elsewhere, he would have heard and seen that the questions raised by me in my statement are the same questions being raised by many others.

I note that he has arbitrarily rejected my recommendation for a non-partisan Economic Policy Committee.  I am disappointed but not shocked.  His arrogance knows no bounds.  We will continue to advocate for this Committee because it is the right thing to do at this time.  All of us have a responsibility to ensure the best outcomes for Bahamians and The Bahamas.

In this respect, I am again calling on all citizens, vendors, contractors, and VAT registrants owed by this uncaring Government to contact my office on a confidential basis with their outstanding claims.  The Government has a moral and legal responsibility to satisfy these claims and a clear legal responsibility to report accurately about its fiscal position, something the Government is not currently doing.

Finally, I note the media has elicited a comment from a member of the toothless Fiscal Council about VAT refunds.  I would be very interested to know if the Council has seen the data on VAT refunds requested, VAT refunds processed and VAT refunds paid since the changes to the VAT regime has been put in place. 
 
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