By Bradley Roberts
I am loathe to respond to a person who when given the opportunity to serve in public office, he botched it and was forced to resign as a Cabinet Minister in utter disgrace.
This is the legacy of Sidney Collie who was incapable of competently superintending local government elections, but could fix his mouth to talk about high finance.
Collie is entitled to his personal opinion however reckless and outrageous, but I publicly challenge him to provide evidence where billions of dollars were in his words “pissed” away by the PLP government. The Auditor General under Article 136 of the Constitution has audited public accounts and did not find what Collie is claiming.
The FNM controlled Public Accounts Committee could not in five long years verify Collie’s “election eve” claims and the Central Bank in all of its monthly and quarterly financial reports could not find these missing billions that collie claims.
Also, the FNM parliamentarians voted for and approved four of the five budgets. They now concede that the budget they voted against was a grave error in judgment because they now realize that VAT is necessary and was the right policy decision. They were slow and late in realizing this but better late than never.
I note that the FNM has ceased and desisted in their foolish opposition to VAT because quite frankly they have no viable policy alternative.
THAT SAID, COLLIE’S OUTRAGEOUS CLAIM IS A FIGMENT OF HIS VIVID IMAGINATION AND SICK MIND…THIS MAN IS LOSING IT UPSTAIRS!!
The fact is the FNM administration lacked the courage and political will to implement the much needed tax reform and public finance reform measures necessary to put the government’s fiscal house in order. The PLP did and the smooth roll out of VAT continues to attract high praise from international financial agencies of repute like the International Monetary Fund (IMF). VAT also enjoys one of the highest rates of compliance.
Since facts matter, it is instructive to note again that the administration of public finances is governed by settled law and to date, no critic of the government has been able to point any violation of any of these laws.
Many of our people oriented programs like BAMSI, NTA, NHI, UB, doubling the nation’s investment in scholarships, Mortgage Relief, making the CLICO policies whole and Project Sandy Bottom are all necessary because of the PLP’s confidence and competence in making the right decisions for The Bahamas.
We remain committed to building on our success as we move Bahamians forward together.