The FNM closed their convention in the way they began – with a fury of invectives against Perry Christie and the PLP and with their foolish celebration of half-measures and stop-gaps after almost three years in office after inheriting a very strong economy in 2007. The PLP is once again disgusted by the FNM’s inability to accept responsibility for the augmentation of the worst economic performance in recent memory.
Hubert Inghram and the FNM’s disastrous policy of Stop, Review and Cancel led the way to a serious erosion of the economy. The goal and objective of reviewing and delaying major foreign investment projects were to allow Hubert Inghram and the FNM the opportunity to re-brand the projects as their own. In fact, these imprudent decisions had engendered a serious lack of Investor Confidence in the FNM Government which continues to this very day.
The record will show that the financial crisis occurred in August 2008, a full fifteen months after the FNM came to power, yet the FNM and their defenders refused to accept responsibility for the part they played in facilitating the worst recession in the Bahamas since the great depression.
Despite pleas by Investors to allow the continuation of their projects, these pleas were ignored. Even the President of the Chamber of Commerce and the President of the Contractors Association begged the government to allow the various projects to proceed. Their pleas, the pleas of the Investors and the pleas of thousands of Bahamians all fell on deaf ears. Then the tightening of funds in the Financial Markets began to take root and by the summer of 2008, funding had virtually evaporated.
The record will show that the FNM Government took the same approach on the Capital works project of the PLP Government. The PLP has at its fingertips all of the facts and will in the coming days again lay it bare once again before the public, exposing the FNM for what they truly are, a government with no plan and with no direction. The FNM has quite simply failed the Bahamian people during their time in office and amazingly has become more arrogant and brazen in their failure, for this the Bahamian voters will in due course express their scorn and disdain as they did in 2002.
It is truly unfortunate that the Prime Minister “Papa Inghram” seems more obsessed with himself than the suffering Bahamian people. The Prime Minister focused on how he believes he is so good, however, he never told the Bahamian people how he was going to provide you with permanent jobs, how he was going to feed the hungry or how he was going to elevate you. The Prime Minister Convention speech was devoid of policies, but continued to blame the faults of his government on global pressures and the PLP.
The Prime Minister blamed the OECD and G20 countries for the suffering financial services industry, but our competitors have demonstrated better governance in this area by being aggressive and proactive, while the Bahamian Government has been slow to respond, jeopardizing the industry and the jobs it creates.
The Prime Minster also spoke of the use of EU funding for the repair and development of the roads in Acklins, Ragged Island and the dock facilities in the family islands. What the Prime Minister refuses to tell you is that the PLP Government negotiated this funding from the European Union and began pursuit of the contracts for the projects. The FNM Government refused to pursue the projects, refused to spend the money pledged by the EU for 2 ½ years, and only did so when it is politically expedient for them to do so. In doing so, the FNM Government stalled economic development in the family islands, suspended potential jobs in the most desperate time of need for Bahamians. The FNM Government should be condemned for sacrificing the good of the people for political means.
The Prime Minister spoke about their purchase of up to 10 boats for the Royal Bahamas Defense Force. This is not true; the FNM Government did not purchase all of the defense force vessels. In fact, the United States Government donated a number of boats. These types of statements have been consistent through this convention, twisting and miss representing the truth for political benefit, deceiving the Bahamian people as to the truth of the matter.
One item that the Bahamian people deserve to be updated on was noticeably absent. What is the status of the BTC privatization? BTC is one of the most value assets of the Bahamian people; the Prime Minister has an obligation to update the Bahamian people on the status of its pending sale. Furthermore, we ask the FNM Government, to what extent have they been drawing on the profitability of BTC to support their domestic spending agendas, and how has this affected the potential price for the sale of BTC.