Minnis Government’s Austerity 2018/19 Budget Communication presented in Parliament…187 Million to borrow – This means Minnis Government Would have borrowed some $2.098 BILLION IN ONE YEAR!!!
Nassau – The Minnis Government brought its IMF generated 2018/19 People’s Budget to the Parliament this morning with tons of austerity measures on the backs of the Bahamian people.
The projections to possibly increase taxes came Sunday when Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis Q.C., in an advance Budget Statement, noted that, considering the anaemic performance of revenue in the past year, Bahamians should brace themselves for higher taxes in the upcoming FNM Budget.
Poor fiscal discipline by the Minnis Government in the past year has forced a borrowing exercise of over $1.7 Billion. Added to this, the Minnis Government sought a $211 Million Guarantee Loan for the Bahamas Power and Light, and today they brought a $187 Million deficit request to defray the expenses for its 2018/19 budget. The total amount would mean that the Government would have borrowed some $2.098 BILLION on the backs of the poor in just one year. A borrowing exercise which has yet to give any real accounting of its revenue shortfall or collection on Taxes – THIS MUST BE CRIMINAL!
Added to this, it was announced that VAT will now be increased from 7.5% to 12% beginning July 1st.
Now here’s the trick! Imagine going to a restaurant and paying 12% VAT PLUS 15% GRATS for eating out? Dining has just moved home. And we expect hotels around the country to began sitting on the steps of the government tonight!
With reduced taxes on new planes and helicopters, someone must ask who is the Minnis Government really protecting and working for? They clearly cannot be working for The Bahamian People.
But here again, in these budget revelations by the Minnis Government, is the stark departure from the statements on taxes prior its election to office more than one year ago. Mr. Minnis said this: “I don’t believe in increasing taxes, I believe in decreasing taxes and increasing opportunities. Increasing taxes is a lazy way out. When you don’t want to think, you just tax.” (The Nassau Guardian – December 12, 2016).
We at BP now ask the simple question: What forced the Government to depart from such an entrenched position on taxes?
We report yinner decide!