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Bahamian Politics Last Updated: Dec 13, 2018 - 1:34:05 PM
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Bahamian Politics
DNA: Government must address report on mass mail shredding - Dec 12, 2018 - 4:07:21 PM

On the heels of the controversial leasing of the Town Centre Mall from a company in which a sitting Cabinet Minister is a major shareholder, the Government finds itself amid another controversy. According to the President of the Bahamas Public Service Union, the General Post Office has engaged in a mass shredding of mails belonging to individuals, businesses and organizations.

It is further disturbing that the Minister responsible for the postal system in the country seems unaware of this reckless action or is unwilling to comment on this important issue...
Bahamian Politics
Senator Coleby-Davis on Compendium of Financial Bills - Dec 10, 2018 - 2:59:05 PM

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Madame President I stand today to bring a contribution to the following compendium of Bills: The Register of Beneficial Ownership Bill, the Commercial Entities (Substance Requirements) Bill, the Removal of Preferential Exemptions Bill, the Penal Code Amendment Bill, the Non-Profit Organizations Bill, and the Business License Amendment Bill.

To avoid confusion throughout my contribution, I will go through these bills one by one. Madame President, may I just state from the onset, that I know that there is a need to act in an effort to avoid blacklisting and protect the financial services...
Bahamian Politics
Hon. Brave Davis on the amended VAT Bill 2018 - Nov 28, 2018 - 6:39:52 PM

Let me say from the onset that any relief is welcomed by us, however small – even if it is a band-aid approach that will provide temporary relief. Even though this amendment is a political ploy to veil ineptness, we nevertheless support the relief in the form of a VAT exemption because some Bahamians will benefit, however short term.

I wish to point out, however, that until and unless the government comprehensively and quickly addresses the challenges pointed out by the member for Carmichael, this temporary relief will be just that – a band-aid over a gaping bleeding wound that requires radical surgery...
Bahamian Politics
Chester Cooper response to Government Fiscal Snapshot - Oct 30, 2018 - 5:30:35 PM

Response to Government Fiscal Snapshot Chester Cooper, Exumas and Ragged Island MP Shadow Minster Of Finance 30th October, 2018:

The government yesterday released data on taxation and revenue collected for the first quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019.

The report shows VAT collections up by 19 percent even though the rate increased by 60 percent.

The collections for the quarter are significantly under budget...
Bahamian Politics
Davis: Post Office Relocation A Financial Bailout - Oct 29, 2018 - 10:25:48 AM

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What is being presented to the Bahamian public as a way to have the main Post Office relocated to the Town Centre Mall, is really a ‘financial bailout' allegedly for the benefit of Immigration and Financial Services Minister Brent Symonette, whose company has controlling ownership of the commercial building.

According to Opposition Leader Philip ‘Brave' Davis, this ‘scandal' is no new thing as Symonette has a history of using the public purse to gain an advantage for self- enrichment...
Bahamian Politics
DNA: Post office saga, vision & transparency lacking - Oct 21, 2018 - 1:38:03 PM

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Total cost to taxpayers remains unknown
Selection process not transparent
No articulated long-term plan for modernization

It is no news that our postal system has been seriously challenged over the past couple of years. Postal workers have had to endure substandard and dangerous working conditions, businesses have been subjected to disruptions to the operations and Bahamians have been provided with poor service...
Bahamian Politics
DNA: Approach to OECD list must go beyond semantics - Oct 18, 2018 - 4:15:59 PM

The Bahamas and twenty other countries were recently singled out by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the premise that their residence by investment (RBI) and citizenship by investment (CBI) schemes pose a high risk to the integrity of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) regime. This adverse listing followed the analysis of over 100 CBI/RBI schemes by the OECD.

In what was termed as the clamping down on CRS avoidance through CBI/RBI, the OECD asserted that it is seeking to equip financial institutions with tools to help them identify accountholders that may misuse RBI/CBI schemes..
Bahamian Politics
DNA - Disability Rights: Access Denied - Oct 13, 2018 - 7:13:26 PM

For years we have toyed around with the words access, inclusion and human rights, often dismissing them as if they were of little to no importance in our country.  Can we collectively now get serious about it?

The inclusion of all persons within our society in nation building is essential for the success of our commonwealth. There is absolutely no reason why in 2018, persons of all abilities should not have access to all buildings within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. It was disappointing to witness the inconvenience and frustration that individuals with varying abilities were subject to at a recent event hosted at Mount Fitzwilliam...
Bahamian Politics
Davis: No More Bad Deals, Hotel SPA Great Financial Loss To Taxpayers - Sep 23, 2018 - 3:40:51 PM

Nassau - Opposition Leader Philip ‘Brave' Davis is seeking the rationale behind the Government's move to purchase the Grand Lucaya property for $65 million, only to flip it in the short term at a great financial loss to Bahamian taxpayers.

Making his concerns known to the House of Assembly this week, Davis said if it is correct that the Government is entertaining potential purchasers and their proposals are under active review, then why ‘flush' $65 million dollars down a ‘blackhole’, incurring redundant financial loss.

“What is the Government's rationale for refusing to simply put buyer and seller together without having to acquire the hotel only to flip it in the short term at a great financial loss to the taxpayers,” Davis said...
Bahamian Politics
DNA - Grand Lucayan: Fundamental issues remain unaddressed - Sep 22, 2018 - 4:51:50 PM

While many Bahamians have reservations about the Government's decision to purchase the Grand Lucayan resort, all right-thinking Bahamians are hopeful that this investment will bring relief to Grand Bahamians. There is no victory to be derived from a failure of the Government insofar as the economy of Grand Bahama is concerned. Therefore, many looked forward to the Prime Minister’s communication in Parliament with much anticipation.

Regrettably, the Prime Minister’s communication on the Grand Lucayan purchase was disappointing and raised more doubts about the Government's actions. The presentation provided no additional or visionary details to the Bahamian people...
Bahamian Politics
Davis criticizes Resort purchase; advises that cost-effective approach should have been taken - Sep 21, 2018 - 6:10:33 PM

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Given the fact that the FNM Government has no expertise or track record of success in the hotel industry, Opposition Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis advises that they should have taken a more cost-effective and fiscally-prudent strategic approach in their move to purchase the Grand Lucayan Resort.

Davis, who was speaking recently in Parliament, pointed out that the proposed guarantee attached to the resolution that was provided, reveals that Hutchison Whampoa covenanted to keep the Lighthouse Pointe open until completion of the sale, provided that the Government pay a subsidy to cover the operational losses of the resort...
Bahamian Politics
Hon. I Chester Cooper House Contribution on the purchase of the Grand Lucayan - Sep 20, 2018 - 6:03:33 PM

Contribution To Resolution On Grand Lucayan Chester Cooper, Exumas And Ragged Island MP September 20, 2018:

Mr. Speaker, before I embark on the meat of my contribution of behalf of the people of Exuma & Ragged Island who I am grateful to represent, I begin with two statements of concern:

Firstly, I am greatly concerned about the state of Grand Bahama and her people. Grand Bahama is hurting. Plagued with high unemployment, the island needs new investment, new opportunities, new jobs and new growth...
Bahamian Politics
Davis warns Parliament that Grand Lucayan Resort Sale is "A Bad Deal!" - Sep 20, 2018 - 5:52:43 PM

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Addressing the House of Assembly this week on the Government’s push to purchase the Grand Lucayan Resort, Opposition Leader Philip ‘Brave' Davis said not only is this move a ‘bad deal,’ but the FNM administration still has not presented an Agreement Of Sale to show publicly what is being done.

Davis noted that in 2016, the former government, while cognizant of the expiration of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA), took a fundamental decision to revise relevant concessions based on bipartisan considerations and recommendations of a six-member Review Committee. The intent of this effort...
Bahamian Politics
Leader of the Opposition Statement at Monthly Press Conference - Sep 5, 2018 - 12:04:43 PM

Good morning media and good morning to all. Thank you for coming and participating in this morning’s media briefing.

A special welcome to all students to the new school year and it is our hope that you will make this an academically productive year.
 
I also had the pleasure of welcoming the students to the new primary school in San Salvador constructed under our administration, the finishing of which was slowed by this administration...
Bahamian Politics
Affordable Home Program: Another case of poor planning & execution - Sep 2, 2018 - 8:09:32 AM

Debt crisis at macro and micro levels
Not unexpected with increased taxation and stunted economic growth
Unemployment, underemployment and over leverage at root
Government out of tune with plight of the average Bahamian
Reminiscent of failed Mortgage Relief Program
Failing to plan is planning to fail

The recent revelation that only fifteen percent (15%) of the 60 applicants qualified for the serviced lots under the Government’s Affordable Home Program is a classic case study on poor planning and deficient execution. According to the Government,
Bahamian Politics
Picewell Forbes Shadow Housing Minister on FNM Housing Programme - Aug 29, 2018 - 3:26:44 PM

The picture of a Prime Minister and his Minister of Housing laying a plaque to promote the sale of a mere ten lots shows how desperate this government is for good news.  Unfortunately there is no good news there either.

First their housing programme is woefully inadequate, under resourced, if not non- existent. It is shameful that all the Housing Minister can tell us is how the majority of people who applied for their service lot programme could not qualify.

The FNM has this unfortunate way of glorying in the misfortunes of its citizens. The Minister should have instead been boasting about how they are working with each applicant to ensure that they do qualify...
Bahamian Politics
Statement from the NP Women’s Branch of the PLP on the unseemly behavior of the BPL Minister - Aug 26, 2018 - 4:18:26 PM

The New Providence Women’s Branch of the Progressive Liberal Party are appalled and cries shame on the Minister for BPL Desmond Bannister for his public savagery of the reputation of the former BPL chair, Mrs. Darnell Osbourne. The minister's statement was sexist and we condemn it.

The issue for us and the country is whether Mrs Osbourne conducted her job with probity and integrity. The issue is not her applying facial makeup...
Bahamian Politics
The Office of the Opposition Leader on the BPL crisis and announced investigation - Aug 26, 2018 - 6:41:38 AM

The recent news stories about BPL have conveyed unfortunate allegations of a culture of cronyism, favoritism, male chauvinistic behavior and corruption that too many Bahamians find absolutely shocking. To those who know firsthand the true habits of the leadership of the FNM, it is simply no surprise.
 
However, it is not our intent to offer political jabs as the issue of BPL goes beyond politics, it impacts our economy and way of life in a material way. It is clear that BPL would not be able to successfully access the international capital markets...
Bahamian Politics
DNA - BPL Debacle: Proper and Independent Investigation Needed - Aug 25, 2018 - 3:07:19 PM

BPL Debacle: Proper and Independent Investigation Needed

Issues must not be swept under the rug...

We have followed with interest the ongoing saga involving the nation’s power supply company, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL). It is an understatement to opine that the Government’s response has been underwhelming, inadequate and petty. This is unfortunate and unacceptable for an administration that professes a commitment to good governance, transparency and accountability...
Bahamian Politics
DNA: FNM Government is alien to good governance - Aug 20, 2018 - 3:07:07 PM

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The Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) debacle came to a head last week with the unceremonious removal of the Board. It was reported that the entire Board of the nation’s main power supply company was asked to resign due to their inability to agree on matters and key decisions.

The Government’s decision to ask all members of BPL’s Board to step down followed questions raised by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC), the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) and leaders of the two unions representing the workers of BPL...
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