By Bradley B. Roberts
Progressive Liberal Party
Minnis’ recent political bluster to repeal part of VAT if elected only further entrenches and defines his leadership character as a flip flopper extraordinaire who does not know his own mind or appreciates the challenges and needs of the country.
As a FNM Minister, he agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendation that The Bahamas’ public finances were in need of tax reform and that VAT was the most viable option. When the FNM lost the election in 2012, his cabinet colleague Laing reiterated the pro VAT policy position of the FNM had the party prevailed in the 2012 general elections. By the 2014/2015 budget debate, Minnis told the House and the Bahamian people that while he agreed that the country’s system of taxation was in need of reform, the FNM “was not on the VAT train.” This was a flip flop. He has not to this day pronounced a viable alternative. He bad mouthed the VAT policy and voted against it in Parliament.
Days after the successful implementation of VAT with absolutely no help but strenuous opposition from Minnis and the FNM, he flip flopped yet again telling the media that he is partly on board with VAT and would repeal some of it. It is both incredible and disgraceful that a person who wants to lead The Bahamas is incapable of articulating and defending a policy as important as tax reform based on principle and an appreciation for the needs of the country he claims to wants to lead.
The VAT train has left the station and Minnis still wants to have one foot on the train and one foot in the train station. The VAT ship has left the harbor, but Minnis wants to have one foot on the ship and one foot in the harbor. This is not the type of leadership that is beneficial to The Bahamas; he does not know his own mind therefore he cannot possibly have a firm command on the national challenges, needs of or solutions for the country. Minnis is yet to state one policy position that forms a viable solution to the myriad of challenges facing the country. As a trained physician, Dr, Minnis knows full well that one cannot be half pregnant.
The entire FNM parliamentarian caucus was given amble opportunity during the House debate to recommend amendments to the VAT bill and attendant regulations, but he rejected the bill wholesale and is now suggesting amendments well after the fact. What manner of leader is Minnis?
This is in stark contrast to Prime Minister Christie who remained focused, consistent, tenacious, resolute and disciplined in addressing the challenges facing the country whether it was unemployment, crime , gaming, constitutional reform, gaming reform, immigration reform, food security or energy sector reform. He did so in the face of much criticism who wanted to see the country fail but he remained strong and resolute and has never lost sight of the over arching vision for The Bahamas.
For all intends and purposes, Dr. Minnis remains irrelevant nationally because he does not represent an alternative and Bahamians should ignore him because it is written that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.