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...
Davis: Post Office Relocation A Financial Bailout
- Oct 29, 2018 - 10:25:48 AM
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.
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...
DNA: Post office saga, vision & transparency lacking
- Oct 21, 2018 - 1:38:03 PM
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...
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..
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
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...
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...
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
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...
Davis criticizes Resort purchase; advises that cost-effective approach should have been taken
- Sep 21, 2018 - 6:10:33 PM
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
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...
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...
Davis warns Parliament that Grand Lucayan Resort Sale is "A Bad Deal!"
- Sep 20, 2018 - 5:52:43 PM
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...
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.
special welcome to all students to the new school year and it is our
hope that you will make this an academically productive year.
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...
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
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,
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
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...
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...
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...
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...
DNA: FNM Government is alien to good governance
- Aug 20, 2018 - 3:07:07 PM
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...
Press Conference statement by Opposition Leader on recent public issues
- Aug 19, 2018 - 4:16:07 PM
Today I have called you here to challenge you and the public to demand
answers from The Bahamas government, the Prime Minister and the Attorney
General in particular about the conduct of his Government and the
agents of the state.
It has been more than 48 hours since the affidavit I saw filed in the
Shane Gibson matter made allegations of serious misconduct on the part
of the prosecution. There has been no reply from the Government.
At the very least this demands a word from the Government that they have
not been involved in prosecutorial misconduct...
DNA - Moody’s: Government must address fiscal policy credibility
- Aug 18, 2018 - 7:06:02 PM
The recent credit opinion released on The Bahamas by Moody’s only
highlighted the points that have been repeatedly raised by the Bahamian
people. In maintaining our sovereign rating at Baa3 with a negative
outlook, the rating agency focused on the fundamentals and prospects of
the Bahamian economy under the current administration.
hardly any new revelations in Moody’s report that calls for the
commendation of the Government. On a positive note, the rating agency
acknowledged The Bahamas’ strong institutional framework, the policy
credibility of the Central Bank and macroeconomic stability...
DNA - Government Urged: Disclose strategy for Grand Lucayan
- Aug 1, 2018 - 1:37:15 PM
As shown in the recently released labour force survey for May 2018, the
unemployment rate in Grand Bahama remains high and the same as that
recorded in May 2017. While the Department of Statistics has pegged the
rate at 12.4 percent, the struggles and despair of residents of Grand
Bahama cannot be captured in mere figures.
There is a general
consensus that our second capital city is in urgent need of economic
boost and revitalization. Hence, the Government’s efforts to attract
viable investments and projects to Grand Bahama are welcomed...