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Minister Dionisio D'Aguilar - Budget Communication
Jun 16, 2021 - 7:51:54 PM

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BUDGET COMMUNICATION
By
Dionisio D’Aguilar
MP for Freetown
Minister of Tourism and Aviation
June 15th, 2021


Mr. Speaker:

I rise on behalf of the great and wonderful and resilient people of Freetown.
Mr. Speaker it has been truly a delight and indeed an honour to serve as the Member of Parliament for Freetown.

We have accomplished a lot but there is still a heck of a lot more work to do within the constituency.  There is no doubt that COVID has thrown us off track.

Prior to COVID, the economy was bouncing back, tourism was growing and the people for Freetown were being employed in ever increasing numbers.  There was a time when we used to say, back in 2019, that anybody who wanted a job and anybody who wanted to work, could secure employment.
But alas, COVID put an end to all that!  And the number of my Freetown constituents that have been thrown out of work by this pandemic has been depressingly high.  With the loss of their job, the stress of making ends meet has caused the misery index to rise precipitously.

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BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs

Mr. Speaker, there is no way anyone can spend their way out of this calamity!  The persons seeking assistance for light, water, rent, mortgage, education, a new job is simply too large to comprehend.

And even though this government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on income support and social assistance, more than any other government in the history of The Bahamas, ENOUGH IS NEVER ENOUGH!

And, realistically, the only way to fix this problem and reduce the misery index, is to get Bahamians back to work in the quickest possible manner.   

Freetown!  That is what I have been doing in the Ministry of Tourism.  Gathering with my Team Tourism, brain storming, being creative, being innovative, being aggressive about getting the tourists to come back.  As I always say to my Team Tourism, make it happen because the people of Freetown are depending on you TO make it happen.  And my job as Minister is to help out where necessary to make it happen!
For when the tourists come back, so do the jobs!  And when the jobs come back, so does the income.  And when the income comes back, the misery index goes way down as you become able to, once again, breathe a little easier in taking care of your monthly bills and improving your quality of life.

Mr. Speaker, I will speak more about the work myself and my great Freetown team have done in Freetown in the closing remarks of my presentation.
BUDGET

Mr. Speaker, I have been sent to this place by the people of Freetown to review and then either approve or reject the 2022 Budget and the compendium of bills that has been laid in this House by the Member for Killarney.

Mr. Speaker, the Budget Book is 274 pages long, which for many, is simply to overwhelming to digest and comprehend.  Mr. Speaker, my training is in accounting and business, and even I need to call on all that education to navigate this book ...TO CONTINUE SEE ATTACHED


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