Editorial

Short-sighted PM Christie fumbles again

by: Published Friday, February 3, 2017

Just as we have been pointing out in this space, for the sake of our readers, the nation’s prime minister continues to demonstrate a lack of substance in his decision-making.

 

In the House of Assembly on Wednesday PM Perry Christie tried to respond convincingly to the landslide of criticisms his government has faced regarding not enough transparency with the much talked about Value Added Tax (VAT).

 

He was forced to address the subject after the debacle of a performance by his Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis during the recent Progressive Liberal Party Convention, in trying to explain to the nation what has happened with the funds generated from VAT.

 

“Let me say, not withstanding what the member for Golden Isles (Halkitis) will be saying during this debate, I have directed the Ministry of Finance to prepare fully, a full explanation; to maximize the publicity on it; to speak to the Bahamian peoples on it; and to, at length, show that when we reduced duty as we did, 40 percent of the VAT money would go to compensate for the reduction of duties and other taxes; another 30 percent would go (30) thirty cents of every dollar; to debt reduction, I think , Mr. Speaker. These matters that we will show, we will detail it. We will present the graphs and we will present it in every nook and cranny in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”

 

So, said the prime minister, under tremendous pressure about VAT.

 

Well, he is yet again, late.

 

Two full years after the implementation of Value Added Tax, now, only now, he talks about presenting a full report. It is deplorable that only at the present, PM Christie seems to see the need to direct his Finance Ministry to do what ought to have been done, at last a year ago.

 

He gave more explanation on Wednesday than the general public had been given throughout the previous existence (two years) of VAT. It is simply a case of this government’s bad habit, or lack of capacity to properly inform the taxpayers in the land of national issues very important to them.

 

Under PM Christie, his government keeps dropping the ball.

 

How does he answer a certain, very fundamental question?

 

Why just now, has he decided to give the nation a comprehensive report on VAT?

 

Indeed, the failure to communicate seems to be very much characteristic of the Christie Government.

 

Hopefully, now as he has promised, a full VAT report will be released and generally, Bahamians will finally be able to make sense of it all.

 

Published  Friday, February 3, 2017 

 

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