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Opinions Last Updated: Aug 6, 2018 - 11:15:50 AM
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Table revised Fiscal Responsibility Bill before summer recess - Jul 11, 2018 - 12:46:10 PM

“The implementation of the Fiscal Responsibility Bill should be treated with at least the same level of urgency as the short-notice imposition of the VAT increase.” These are the sentiments of The Organization for Responsible Governance, which is pushing for the drafted Fiscal Responsibility Bill (FRB) to be tabled and debated ahead of the customary parliamentary summer recess.

Opinions
Kreimild Saunders: Carnival Controversies - May 29, 2018 - 9:50:01 AM

The very founding of carnival in the Bahamas was froth with controversies.  A central controversy was the privileging of a foreign festival rather than promoting our indigenous festival, Junkanoo, that has not been able to sustain itself privately. 

It is estimated that between 2015 and 2017 the Christie administration spent over 20 million dollars subsidizing carnival events with cost over-run (especially in the inaugural event). There was a backlash from Junkanooers and the political opposition (FNM). Carnivals are big business...
Opinions
Former M.P. Pierre Dupuch comments on rumours of an FNM Coup. - Apr 9, 2018 - 12:08:21 PM

A short while ago it was said that I was starting and spreading rumours about Hubert Ingraham being a part of a coup to challenge Dr. Hubert Minnis for leadership.

For Hubert Ingraham to believe that, he must be living in a fool's world, and suffering from delusions of grandeur to think that I would have the time or interest in starting any rumours about him. I was merely commenting on a rumour about a possible vote of no confidence in Dr. Minnis and him being replaced as Prime Minister...
Opinions
Dr. Bethel: The Oban Debacle - Mar 27, 2018 - 11:09:41 PM

The “ceremonial signing," 19th February 2018, of Heads of Agreement (HOA) between the Government of Bahamas (GOB) and Oban Energies, has become a public relations fiasco for the GOB and a potential environmental disaster for the island of Grand Bahama.

Many details and concerns about the process and terms of the HOA have been covered by the media, environmentalists, NGOs, BNT, politicians, residents of Grand Bahama Island (GBI) and concerned citizens of the Bahamas...
Opinions
"Forget The Potential Environmental Issues With The Oban Deal" - Mar 18, 2018 - 7:20:36 AM

The Bahamas National Trust has come out strongly against the Oban Energies deal the Government has signed citing potential environmental damage to the nearby National Parks.

Their concerns are reasonable and coming from the country's most important environmental group add weight to the controversy surrounding this arrangement.

But the main reason to reject the deal is more fundamental than potential environmental fall out. The Rule Of Law comes to mind...
Opinions
Ryan Knowles Says Dual Stream to Drive Sales - Feb 12, 2018 - 6:47:18 PM

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A real estate agent whose sales total more than $70 million and who just completed his best year yet is predicting even better days ahead, projecting ‘a banner year for The Bahamas’ in 2018.

HG Christie superstar Ryan Knowles made the positive prediction yesterday, saying that two distinct factors point to overall success for the real estate market in both the Family Islands and New Providence.

“There are two independent engines that I believe will drive buyers to purchase in The Bahamas this year,” said Knowles...
Opinions
Rick Lowe: The Learning Crisis in The Bahamas - Feb 3, 2018 - 12:51:52 PM

In recent days the effects of the failure of many students to successfully learn Maths and English skills have been highlighted by an RBC Royal Bank executive.

His narrative is nothing new. In fact, The Nassau Institute published a public policy essay by its former Vice President, Ralph Massey on this subject in 2009.

For the first time taxpayers were able to see more than just the average results of all subjects and the details were startling.

Here's an excerpt.

"The English Language exam for the seven public high schools on New Providence
Opinions
Youri Kemp: President Trump’s ‘shithole’ comments unfortunately deserve follow up - Jan 12, 2018 - 7:18:39 PM

In a bi-partisan meeting with Democrat and Republican lawmakers on immigration and particularly on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) portion of the immigration reform package, in an unprecedented show of extreme ignorance and crassness, the president of the USA, Donald Trump, referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as “shitholes.”

No further comment necessary, but I will comment anyway. I will because the overt stupidity of such a statement, particularly a statement made in the presence of Democrat and Republican lawmakers, shows how off the rails and loose with his mouth President Trump is...
Opinions
Rick Lowe: Government should follow the rules with law making - Jan 9, 2018 - 5:02:49 AM

Here we go again.

Four new Bills have been tabled in Parliament yet again and the government has not followed the proper procedure as laid down by the Westminster System of Government and agreed by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

They include: Financial Transactions Reporting Bill, 2017 - 46 pages, Integrity Commission Bill, 2017 - 110 pages...
Opinions
Oswald T. Brown: Marijuana should be legalized in the Bahamas - Jan 8, 2018 - 7:45:48 PM

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When I covered Jamaica’s independence in August of 1962 for The Tribune, I did a feature article on the Rastafarians and their lifestyle. To get interviews, a Jamaican journalistic colleague arranged for me to visit a Rastafarian camp off Foreshore Road. I got there around dinner time and was invited to have dinner with a group of them. We sat in a circle and ate from a large bowl at the centre of the circle, and after we finished eating, they passed around a marijuana “joint” the size of a large cigar.

When I took a puff, I almost choked to death, and my host repeatedly slapped me on the back while saying, “Ma bradda, you no have to partake, this our ritual...”
Opinions
Modern Slavery - Jan 4, 2018 - 12:57:07 PM

MODERN SLAVERY! The world is in uproar after shocking revelations of modern slavery were reported by CNN news last month. A man was videotaped selling African migrants at the cost of $400.00 for farm work.

Many people have begun to petition and to speak out against what is going on in Libya however, I have been more concerned with the fact that this isn't some regress back to the days of old...
Opinions
Former M.P. Pierre Dupuch comments on taxes, WTO and outsourcing - Nov 16, 2017 - 9:40:55 AM

Ah well, here we go again! The talk of the town is now saying things like: "Let's even the playing field ... tax them!"; "By 2019 we'll be full members of the WTO" and "Let's outsource it."

"Let's even the playing field, let's tax them," says one Minister when talking about Bahamians who rent their houses to visitors. Let's see now, a person rents his house to a visitor and makes less than $100,000/year - is he now to pay taxes on his income? Does anyone else pay taxes on their income...
Opinions
Rick Lowe: More taxes for Bahamas businesses foreshadowed - Nov 5, 2017 - 11:03:24 AM

Coming on the heels of the OECD and its G-20 and European Union (EU) members threatening ‘blacklistings’ a few short months ago Mr. K. Peter Turnquest, Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance suggests The Bahamas might have to look at implementing a low rate corporate income tax in order to comply with demands from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

How the Bahamas will comply and whether it will be forced to adopt a corporate income tax is disconcerting.

Bearing in mind businesses already pay a business license tax on gross income, the threat of even more taxation, following on the heels of the introduction of Value Added Tax that has had such a negative impact on local businesses 2015 is casting...
Opinions
Fred Smith: Gov’t must resist this hostile foreign takeover - Oct 25, 2017 - 8:19:19 PM

The attempted forcible buy-out of Grand Bahama Power Company by a 100 per cent foreign-owned entity is nothing less than an aggressive hostile takeover which is clearly not in the best interest of The Bahamas.

The proposed move contravenes Bahamian law on a number of levels and raises serious questions about the strength of our sovereignty and the integrity of our public institutions. All Bahamians who care about their rights and are committed to national self-determination should call on the government resist this ill-conceived plan. We have until November 7to make our voices heard...
Opinions
Fred Smith on Bahamas Immigration Reform: "An enlightened & progressive approach " - Oct 12, 2017 - 4:46:05 PM

The Immigration Policy followed by successive governments has failed to produce the desired results. The domestic economy has not flourished as a result of strict control of the labor force. Undocumented migrants, primarily from northern Haiti, continue to arrive on Bahamian shores in significant numbers.

Meanwhile, “Immigration enforcement” has devolved into little more than a vehicle for systemic corruption and exploitation; a political tool for the incitement of hatred, anti-foreign sentiment and nationalistic fervor.

The consequences of this ill-conceived approach include the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual  revenue, the establishment of an entrenched culture of official corruption, the creation of a sub-class...
Opinions
Monte Pratt: The challenges of Renewable Energy in the Bahamas - Oct 6, 2017 - 1:48:26 AM

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Over The Last 5-years, There Has Been A Lot Of 'Novice' Discussions On Radio Talk-shows And In Social Media About How Much Sunshine And Breeze That The Bahamas Has. And The Fact We Need To Embrace Solar And Wind Energy Technology To Reduce Energy Cost. But What About The Challenges That These Solar And Wind Energy Utilities Face?

First Of All, None Of These 'Novice Advisors' Noted The Fact That The Bahamas Is Located In 'The Heart Of The Hurricane Belt'. Secondly, None Of These 'Novice Advisors' Noted The Fact That The Bahamas (Every Island) Was Hit By 3 Major Hurricanes In The Last 3 Consecutive Years And Also Has Suffered 8 Major Hurricanes Since August 1992...

Opinions
Former M.P. Pierre Dupuch comments on "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." - Sep 30, 2017 - 9:20:56 AM

Sometime ago I read a rather intriguing book entitled, "The Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man."

Not only was it intriguing, it was frightening. It was written by a man who had been called in by the American Government to form a group whose sole purpose, it appeared, would be to bankrupt countries making them "economic colonies" of the United States.

This is unbelievable, but here's basically what the author explained. They would go to a country, big or small, find a "big-eyed John/Jane" who wanted to look good with his/her constituents and needed money to do so. They would find, for example, that the Government needed money to build a two-lane highway but had none.

They would move in and convince them that instead of a two-lane highway, they should get a four-lane one. "Not to worry," they'd say. "We will lend you the money." Being a big-eyed John/Jane, wanting to impress the constituents, and, of course, getting a little under the table for themselves, they would jump at the offer...
Opinions
Rick Lowe: I’m not mad at the IMF - Sep 16, 2017 - 12:12:49 PM

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So the IMF has suggested income tax to solve our fiscal woes…

Instead of looking at their proposed remedy, I suggest we look at the cause of the fiscal problems.

Simply put it as been fiscal imprudence by successive governments that has caused this. Yup, spending more than they take in while singing the praises of yet another great budget expansion without taxation to pay for it.

Instead of raising taxes governments since independence have borrowed until hitting
Opinions
Fred Smith QC: The “Foreigner” can no longer be the Scapegoat! - Jul 21, 2017 - 7:17:37 PM

There has been a lot of agitation and blame  about “Foreigners” raping our  Marine and Fisheries Resources. In my view, this debate and blame game is  misconceived and futile. Simply blaming the "Foreigner" and focusing on "Foreign" depletion and exploitation BUT continuing to allow the same unregulated exploitation and  depletion ONLY by Bahamians, is not the answer. It is a recipe for environmental disaster.

In my view, the challenges faced in the Bahamas, by the rape, pillage, ruin and unsustainable depletion of our Marine and Fisheries Resources, and the unrelenting destruction of our Mangroves and Corals Reefs, requires rational, deliberate and careful attention.

It can perhaps be most effectively addressed by the new FNM  government adopting a more enlightened and effective approach by meaningful  consultation with those most  knowledgeable and  experienced in the field...
Opinions
Fred Smith: If the Government fixes Freeport it will fix The Bahamas! - Jul 15, 2017 - 10:48:30 PM

The Government has a unique opportunity to resurrect the Phoenix of Freeport from the ashes of political red tape and recession. This will require political courage to adopt a paradigm shift in foreign investment policies in Freeport and Grand Bahama. References to Freeport include Grand Bahama. If the Freeport experiment works, then with appropriate changes the model can be applied to the rest of The Bahamas for success!


For Freeport to succeed, Government should trust the GBPA to be the One Stop Shop Licensing Authority for Bahamian and foreign investment under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement . References to GBPA include DEVCO.

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Table revised Fiscal Responsibility Bill before summer recess
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