Who is Mr Ingraham leveling the playing field for?

14
1943
Pictured at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Rt Hon Hubert A Ingraham is David Shaw, CEO of Caribbean Business for Cable and Wireless. (BIS Photo/Sharon Turner)

A LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Bahamas Press, on Monday I was really taken back when I saw the FNM government announce in Parliament that they intend to revise the National Investment Policy of the Bahamas, and more specifically, remove a provision in the policy that cordoned off the entertainment and restaurant sector to Bahamians only.

I was really puzzled by this, as I couldn’t figure out why now or why is this even necessary. One would think that being in a recession the governing party would do all it can to stimulate jobs for its citizens by creating policies that would encourage THEM to invest more in the local economy, but Mr Ingraham seems to be creating an investment climate favorable for foreigners and not Bahamians. So it’s lost on me, how, by removing this protection, are Bahamians encouraged to become owners of their economy.

Why is it that the only answer Bahamian governments have for stimulating the economy is to bring in MORE FOREIGN INVESTMENT? I know its needed, but is there even a designated cut off point, where they say once a certain level of foreign investment is in the country, they will not actively seek out foreign investors and be more selective in approving foreign projects so as to focus more on creating policies and programs that would encourage Bahamians to become business owners? Are they even thinking like this? Will the foreignization of this economy ever stop?

Bahamians already have a hard time getting business loans right now and this FNM government has decided to open the door for Bahamians to come into direct competition with foreigners who will, in no doubt, have a financial advantage at the start? I am bewildered by this decision and ask, how does this revision benefit Bahamians when it will only serve to keep us as employees rather than create Bahamian employers.

Shouldn’t the Bahamian government be about promoting Bahamian investment? Shouldn’t they be busy trying to figure out ways to make it easier for Bahamians to empower themselves in the local economy? Why is our government going out of its way to be investor friendly to foreigners? Why cant they take that same effort and put policies in place in other sectors of the economy that would encourage more Bahamians to become employers. Why wont they make it easier to open up a business? Why wont they get the banks to stop their unfair lending practices? Where is the governments effort to protect and encourage Bahamian ownership?

When I heard this proposal by Mr Ingraham, I asked myself, who is Mr Ingraham looking out for? Who is he really leveling the playing filed for?

I would like to know what Mr Ingraham has seen during these tough financial times that suggest to him that Bahamians are ready, at this time to compete against a well financed group of restaurateurs or entertainers? The restaurant and entertainment field has already been hit hard by the recession and now they have to worry about some foreign entity coming in to take a slice of an already small economic pie? Bahamian entertainers cant even get consistent work in the hotels and now they are going to have to compete with foreign entertainers? Can somebody please tell me how does this new policy benefit Bahamians again again? And have they taken consideration on how this will affect the already fragile Bahamian culture?

But as I sit back and ponder this, I see a trend by Mr Ingraham. Seems like you have to be apart of the old oligarch or a foreign national to get Mr Ingraham to act on your behalf!

Consider this, in 1993, Mr Ingraham repealed the Removable Properties Act. The very second he did this, rich foreign nationals began buying land at an unprecedented clip. With high demand, prices rose sharply and quickly and with wages being as low and stagnant as they are, a young family or newly married couple cant even afford to buy a piece of property in a nice area anymore.

Upon its repeal, the very same thing the Act was implemented to prevent came to fruition. Middle class Bahamians couldn’t afford land in their own country. If your family doesn’t have any generational land, your probably going to be renting for the rest of your life or praying you get a government built home. Meanwhile, the rich foreigner can come in here, pick, choose and refuse which piece of Bahamian property he wants because the impediment has been removed.

So if Bahamians clearly didn’t benefit from this decision, then who did? If you have been around for a while, you should know who the big players are in the real estate industry in the Bahamas. For years the Removable Properties Act had been a thorn in their side. They knew there was a hungry foreign market that was dying to get their hands on Bahamian land, but to these selfish individuals, the Act was an impediment to greater financial gain! So when Mr Ingraham showed up, he bought into their deceit and foolishly repealed the Act, not even taking into account the affect it would have on the future price of land for average Bahamians. No one in their right mind today, would agree that the repeal of that law has put Bahamians in a better position to acquire property, no one!

Again I ask, who has Mr Ingraham leveled the playing field for?

Then, I started to think about national health insurance and how hard the FNM campaigned against it and how quickly they killed the bill once they assumed office in 2007. Everybody knows that most Bahamians don’t have health insurance. Its just to expensive. We all know it was needed, but with its implementation, which special interest group felt this initiative would affect its bottom line? That’s right, another financial backer of the FNM, the big insurance companies.

The main argument the FNM used was that it was to expensive to implement. The implementation cost would have been around $250 million, but think about this Bahamas Press, this present government of the Bahamas, in 4 yrs, has already borrowed almost that amount just for road works! They borrowed millions to pave a stretch of road for the Miss Universe Pageant, a one time event, where they cant even quantify what the Bahamas got back in return, but cant borrow monies to implement a scheme that would assist the people in getting much needed medial care? Come on man!

The decision by Mr Ingraham to kill the Plan was not about finances. It was about protecting the bottom line of another financial backer, another special interest. It was the insurance companies who didn’t want it. And whats so ironic was that while in opposition, Mr Ingraham and his side voted in favor of National Health Insurance, but it seems like when they got that insurance money during the campaign, everything changed and killed the very bill he and his side voted in favor for. What a shame!

And their answer, the National Prescription Drug Plan, does nothing to remedy the more important issue of health care affordability in this country. That plan was just a poor attempt to quell the cries for some kind of action. To Mr Ingraham, the roads are more of a priority than the health of his own citizens.

So I ask again, who has Mr Ingraham leveled the playing field for?

Then I thought about the Port deal. To this day the Bahamian people still don’t know who are the 19 private investors that make up the Port group. Its funny because during the BTC debate, one of the FNM’s talking points was that no one knows who were the people behind Blue Water, even though the government paid the same Blue Water people over a million dollars to go away. But when it comes down to the port investors, Mr Ingraham and his cabinet has yet to reveal who these men are. But I would bet that when the names of these people are revealed, it will be more of the same; another special interest group of the FNM.

The FNM government gave these fellas 40% share in the new port and a 20 yr monopoly on that facility with the power to create and set fees and penalties as they like. They will have the direct ability to affect the cost of living in this country as whatever fees they implement will no doubt be passed on to the consumer. The fact is, the old Bay Street Boys has re-tighten their grip on the economy of this country under Mr Ingraham.

These guys are going to make TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars on that deal. The 60% share of the port owned by the government will be offered to the public, but what makes you think those 19 investors are not going to buy up the majority of those shares? Is there a prevision in the contract preventing this? I don’t know as Mr Ingraham has yet to reveal the contract to the public, so at the end of the day, those fellas probably will own the majority shares in the new port!

I ask again, who has Mr Ingraham leveled the playing field for?

Seems like whenever there is an opportunity to make the small Bahamian smaller, Mr Ingraham does not pass it up. The chairman of the FNM says Mr Ingraham is compassionate and looks out for the interest of the average Bahamian, but wasn’t this same man accused of union busting in his second term? In this term, he has raised taxes on us to the highest levels in Bahamian history, borrowed over one billion dollars in 4 years and all they have to show for it is poorly managed road works.

Mr Ingraham doesn’t even want to do an unemployment survey because they know the findings will contradict their mantra that the economy is turning around. So they tout the unemployment benefit numbers knowing full well that that doesn’t tell the true story of the level of unemployment in the country!

I ask again, what has Mr Ingraham done for the rest of US? He continues to give out goodies to those who don’t need it, while throwing sour limes at the rest of us!

With all the effort he puts into making sure special interest groups and foreigners get ahead, I wish he would put the same effort in putting together an effective crime, immigration or education strategy. It seems he is quite content on letting me and you sleep in fear, loose jobs to non Bahamians and let our schools churn out functionally illiterate youths.

I cant afford gas for my car, I’m using less electricity but the bill still going up, growing stuff in my yard because the prices in the food store are too high, drinking all kinds of bush medicine because I cant afford to see the doctor and he wants to tell me he is looking out for me, my children and grand children? And then turns around and has the gall to ask me to vote for his party? SMT……………..

How much more drubbing is Mr Ingraham is going to put on US? How much more of our national self esteem is his government going to destroy? They say they are for us, but every time they have a chance to prove it, they only show devotion to foreigners or their special interest groups. Under Mr Ingraham, are there any advantages to being a Bahamian in the Bahamas? Do I really need a foreign accent or be apart of the oligarch to get ahead in my own country?

Looks like the FNM wont touch any advantage that their backers have in the law, but are eager to remove any that gives regular Bahamians even the slightest of edges! I am realizing more and more everyday that Mr Ingraham was never about the people, he was always about trying to undo the protections the founding fathers put in place to give the rest of us a chance of being and doing something in this country!

What about the rest of us Mr Ingraham, what about the rest of us?

Altec

14 COMMENTS

    • The phone card vendors gone? Are you suprised? We asked the other day where are all the Easter Basket vendors that use opposite the Mall at Marathron? Where all the fiesh vendors that were along the East Street near Brent new plaza? I guess they gone to register.

      BP

  1. I gettin ready to start a party. I gon call it the F.Y.I. party. If you know anything bout FYP….you can see where I’m going with this. Whose with me?? BP??

    • PAPA Has Failed the Bahamas and the Bahamian people. He has returned with the most vivious attack against Bahamianization. HE is in bed with major foreign elements and for that CHANGE IS COMING!

      BP

  2. Mr. Ingraham suffers from the “COLONIAL MENTALITY” hence if you’re foreign or “Greek Bahamian” YOU GET THE CONTRACT. Butits payback time, so the FNM can get more once the election is called.
    $4,000,000 from the principals of Colina in 2007 to the FNM party got Colina, Insurance Coverage for the Police , etc. Moneys from MOSKO for the FNM Party in 2007 gets him what ever contract he desire, naturally PAPA gets his percentage delivered to him in the grove. I guess they call this “POLITICS”.

  3. Well I’ll be… You can call me whatever you want to but at the end of the day – I am still a Bahamian.

    I just get so tired of hearing all the whining and “woe is me” attitudes of the “poor Bahamians”. Yinna forget that it took foreign money to build the Bahamas in the first place eh? Stop sounding so bitter and get up and make things happen.

    Bahamians had since 1968 to make moves in the Entertainment and Restaurant business – so then tell me where all the Bahamian ran Entertainment and Eatery businesses are? In all fairness I can only point to one – das the Bamboo Shack! Now that is a good local model of how to make business work.

    See part of the problem is that as soon as any Bahamian try to do something – we all start cutting each other down like hungry dogs gabbling over a bowl of food placed before us. If it ein one dirty trick to get you to tip out or scheme to get you to give up what you trying to do – they trying to sweat you out ya money. Bahamians so jealous they hate to see someone else succeed.

    I am speaking from first hand experience when it come to doing anything that involves a substantial investment to get it working in the Bahamas. It be just like throwing a couple drops of blood in the water. Before you know it all the big teet sharks come circling. Man, we keep getting in our own way and want to blame everybody else.

    I tired of everyone blaming the Government for trying to bring more money into this country. Tourism and financial investments have always been the lifeline of this country. So if the money coming from out in here – how it getting back out? We had land – so why now we gat these big mortgages we can’t pay? Why every time we get money we gatta be big balling and flying over to the US to spend it all and come back and show off what we gat like we ein used to having nothing? Dis the crap you should really be criticizing and dealing with.

    The few Bahamians who really saved and do have a lil wealth right now they fighting to hold on to it from all the crooks trying to pull it out from under them.

    Look man, we have been a free and sovereign nation since 1973 and what all we got to show for it? People gan soon stop coming here cause we don’t know what hospitality is no more.

    An attitude adjustment is what is needed here….

  4. how ing-rum look @ things. these same rich people is fund the party as he collect millions to pay the hurting man and woman out there to vote for him bahamians need to stop being licky licky for couple hundred dollars and vote this man out the more he hurt and keep us broke. the best chance he get to win by given us some change to vote for him.

  5. I am convinced that this negro hates his kind. Altec you are so spot on; Sir Lynden and the other giant killers who have gone on to their reward must have taken time out, from praise to the KING OF KINGS, to shed some tears, just to see that all their blood sweat and tears have gone down the dream. The reason for this restriction in the first place was to protect proceeds from the tourist industry for Bahamians ONLY. Ingraham has certainly taken us back to pre-1967; undoing all the achievements of the PLP. This will come back to haunt the suckers though.

  6. Well we are way back past 1968, who’s said the UBP was dead and gone.Hubert Ingraham was fired in 1987 because it was discovered that deep down inside he missed the UBP. he has been working as hard as hell to live up to his “Delivery Boy” name ever since then. he’s is almost completed!!!

    Hubert “Uncle Tom” Ingraham, who is this man and why does he hate Bahamians, does he understand independance?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Tom

  7. hubert ingraham’s only plan for the Bahamian people is to stress them out by raising taxes, firing them, insulting their intelligence, and ignoring their dreams of ownership. His answer? long lines seeking unemployment handouts and free medicine to fight the diseases brought on from the stress he is causing!!! The PLP or the DNA must move with haste to reinstate the Immovable Properties Act. Then and only then will we be able to start the reversal of hubert’s demonic plan to disempower & disenfranchise Bahamians in the Bahamas.

  8. Altec, well said. Ingraham is a traitor to this nation and its people. He resents us demanding that he represent interests of the majority. He really does. Just when he is creasing up in the Holoweskos and the Lyford Cay/Old Fort set, you all want him to look back at us?

    • You never here about any lobbyist for these changes, so you know it gatta be something fishie. Without a clue or even a chance to protest we are having these things thrust upon us. Its like FORCE UNLAWFUL CARNAL KNOWLEDGE and you can’t tell nobody you have to simply grin and bear, how sad.

Comments are closed.