Nassau, Bahamas — With only some 15 months to go until the next general elections, the Ingraham led government appears to be on a wicket of delivering greater hardship to the Bahamian people.
Having attained the record of delivering the largest tax increase on the struggling poor -who have lost their jobs in the worst economic recession since the great depression – A Minister in the government now confirms it shall deliver another major blow on residents.
The FNM government is hell-bent on raising the energy tax by 5%. Now this is incredible! We are all aware of the fact that much of the debt owed to BEC was racked up by major hotels, large businesses, corporations and government institutions. They all have failed to meet their obligations with the sold provider of energy on New Providence. Nevertheless, now the government has decided to place a new burden of a 5% hike on paying residents. This cannot be and should be fought tooth and nail by every Bahamian.
The Government’s poor management and dastard handling of the fiscal affairs of BEC have further crippled the corporation and now news of its pending collapse has raised more fears.
Bahamas Press calls on the Ingraham government to explain to the people, why should the poor and the struggling carry any more burden for the rich and wealthy? Why should we, who are already overtaxed beyond our wits end, find ourselves carrying the burdens of BEC because of its BAD management and reckless spending? Why should we the people pay for failure and bury ourselves with more expense because BEC has allowed hotel properties to close without settling outstanding bills with the corporation? When will the Government pay BEC what it owes?.
And before any idea or conclusions of a tax hike levied on the people, BEC should become transparent and tell its owners the following:
- Who owes BEC [Provide us with the list] ?
- What are the current debts on the books of the Corporation?
- Issue a published report on wastage within the Corporation.
- And clearly spell out to the public, how can monopolies as large as BEC goes bust when it is the sole provider of energy?
- What is the percentage owed by Households versus Corporations and The Government? Is it less than 5%?
The Ingraham government should also be aware that this is not the time to hike taxes on people! The government tax increase in its 2008 budget year saw acceleration in the collapse of businesses. We saw community stores closed and services cut. We saw unprecedented layoffs in the private sector, and we saw tax increases even on the Holy Bible; it cost the people of this country more to carry the Word.
BP believes this is not the time to impose an increase on energy, particularly when governments around the world are finding ways to cut expenses and waste to create avenues for new employment. In two months from now more than 5,000 students will join the unemployment line in an already stressful, slothful, depressed job market. ‘Da churrin mah and pah’ are home without a job in sight!
To impose an increased Energy Tax would mean higher cost for services, more cost transferred to the consumer for goods and we all know it will mean more money to buy Keiths Chicken In The Bag & Red Cream Soda. We the people cannot take the failures, and we believe it is not our responsibility to carry the burden of failure anymore.
Bahamas Press calls on the Ingraham government to rescind its decision or face further rebuke from the people! A wave of rebukes, which will conclude with the Ingraham led government being thrown out of office and onto the streets for its record of wrecking the Bahamian economy.