The frailty of our central administrations of recent decades has always been quite evident. They have demonstrated a high level of weakness in business transactions for the people of The Bahamas. They have borrowed as if the practice is going out of style. We have a huge national debt. It was roughly 6.5 billion as of September of 2015. Both Hubert Ingraham (three terms as prime minister) and Perry Christie (into the last portion of a second term as PM) have been long on borrowing.
On the other hand, they have been short on coming up with initiatives to generate revenue. The administrations of Ingraham and Christie simply have not had the business acumen characteristic.
The first Government of The Bahamas under the United Bahamian Party (UBP) was buoyant. They operated in the black. For the next 25 years following the defeat of the UBP in 1967, the Government of Lynden Pindling reigned. Pindlingâ s lot was not of the business acumen ilk of the UBP, but they brought balance to the borrowing.
Under Pindling, the National Insurance Board was put in place and it helped greatly with the financial stability of the country. NIB has proven to be invaluable. Subsequent to the first two governing groups, the shift has not been positive.
The culture of borrowing has been very strong with the Ingraham and Christie administrations.
So today, the nation is saddled with a $6.5 billion debt. Thatâ s incredulous. The present Christie administration brought legislation to the House of Assembly to legally get money through gaming taxes as well as the much-talked-about Value Added Tax (VAT).
Millions of dollars now flow through those two avenues, yet the national debt continues to soar through the ceiling.
There has been this great reliance of the Ingraham and Christie administrations in foreign investors whom they court and promise great acres of land as an enticement. This is the case for foreigners even though Bahamians have been running into a roadblock for years in trying to process crown land that their families have been living on and working for generations.
Tennyson Wells made an interesting point recently. He said one of the reasons he supports Dr. Hubert Minnis is because he (Dr. Minnis) has proven the ability to earn his own money rather than make it by receiving public funds.
Dr. Minnis indeed seems to understand what it is to be a good businessman.
Ingraham and Christie have proven otherwise. Christie is presently in Europe trying for new investors. We donâ t criticize him for that. Surely, whatever it takes to legitimately boost the economy in The Bahamas, we support.
The habit of borrowing however could eventually sink us all.