Upset about the tax increases?……lets consider the alternatives.
“What has been done will actually
soften the blow to all Bahamians.”
In Cayman, salary cuts of up to 15% have been proposed for civil servants!
As government’s throughout the world battle the ravages of the recession, when compared with other nations, the Bahamas should be congratulated for the excellent job that is being done by Hon. Hubert Ingraham and the FNM government.
What has been done will actually soften the blow to all Bahamians. Yes, we may have increased taxes and withheld civil servants increments and even in some cases decrease some budgetary items, but the main goal and objective was to maintain jobs, thus decreasing the possibility of even harder times.
At the same time the actions of the government has maintained our debt to GDP ratio thus assisting the stabilization of our dollar and at the same time allowing our borrowing power to continue.
Most Bahamians at one point or another would have borrowed from banks or from other individuals. imagine if you were placed in a position to borrow $500 to pay for outstanding debts and you were told that you couldn’t or you are told that if you borrow you would have to pay unimaginable interest rates. Every Bahamian knows what this would mean. The governments measures are to insure that our future generation is protected.
Compare what we’ve done and look at what is being done in other places. In some US states, ads are being sold on automobile license plates, educational funds as well as funds that support the poor, prisons and the elderly are being cut. Parks are closed and states like California have resorted to paying its bills with “I owe yous”.
In France 100,000 public service jobs were scrapped and business subsidies and welfare subsidies were cut. Taxes also were increased.
In Chicago, thousands of teachers were laid off. Swimming pools in schools have been drained and after school programs as well as medical aid were cut. Here in The Bahamas we have paid off the teachers and rather than cutting health subsidies, we are introducing a national drug plan to assist the elderly and others affected by chronic non-communicable diseases.
During a recent parliamentary debate, opposition members were clambering about the subsidy for funeral burial, while in Chicago, funeral home owners are wondering whether they world be paid as they are already six months behind in payment by government. The state would only subsidize the amount of $1103 per funeral Matthew Garrahan of Los Angeles wrote an article recently in the Financial times, published June 28 2010 which stated that
“Crushed by the recession and falling tax revenues, the city is disbanding its police force and firing all public sector employees.
Maywood has opted for an extreme solution, by contracting out all public services, including the most basic, to save cash. But it is not alone.
States around the US are cutting costs wherever possible as they prepare budgets for the fiscal year that starts this week for most of them. Their combined deficit is projected to reach $112bn (£74bn) by June 2011.
Local government activities, such as funding police, school buildings, fire departments, parks and social programmes, are in the line of fire.”
A city in Illinois plans to close fire stations and lay off fire fighters while others are outsourcing civil servants, police departments and looking
at schools, health and other social entities as the cities can no longer afford to subsidize them during these recessionary times
Considering what is happening around the world, should we not consider ourselves fortunate to have Hon. Hubert Ingraham and the FNM government leading the way during these difficult times?