Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

Bahamas PM 'puzzled' by US criticisms
Published on July 4, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Krystel Rolle-Brown
Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie suggested on Wednesday that it is “simply inappropriate” for US officials to draw negative conclusions on the success of his government’s plan, based on a “snapshot” of the current situation.

perry_christie18.jpg
Prime Minister Perry Christie responds to the US Department of State's report which highlighted the Christie administration’s failure to live up to many of its campaign promises, during a press conference on Wednesday. Photo: Torrell Glinton
Christie was responding to a US Department of State report, which highlighted the Christie administration’s failure to fulfill many of its “ambitious campaign promises of economic and fiscal reform”.

The report, titled “2014 Investment Climate Statement – The Bahamas” was released on June 26.

Christie also suggested the report is not objective. He added that the information was likely gleaned from opposition sources.

“Those who wrote the report for the state department… made obvious mistakes in writing that report,” he told reporters during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday.

“In fact, let me state personally as prime minister my disappointment, because they picked up in a similar fashion of Wikileaks what opposition sources were saying and not what, in fact, is an objective assessment of what the government was saying since being elected. And that’s what I find so puzzling.

“But the message for me is that better days are ahead. And that statement will be the true measure of the success of our agenda for change.”

The mistake that Christie was referring to was the report’s statement that both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded the country’s credit rating in 2013.

Christie pointed out that S&P did not downgrade the country’s credit rating, but rather revised its outlook to negative in September 2012.

He added: “Moody’s announced a downgrade in December 2012, but clearly stated that this reflected the worsening in the government’s balance sheet since 2007, largely on the basis of a low and inadequate revenue base.”

Christie also defended his government’s commitment to fulfilling its promises.

“Unfortunately, some have been led to draw on specific points in the statement to present a negative tone in respect of the plan of action that my government laid out in our Charter for Governance prior to the election and which we are aggressively pursuing during the course of our present mandate,” he said.

“…We were abundantly clear in the charter that, while our plan does offer numerous measures for short and medium-term relief, a responsible government cannot think only five years at a time. As such, we committed ourselves to a true national development plan that reflects a vision for The Bahamas of the future.

“We have been true to our word and we are pursuing just such a plan for the future.”

The report pointed to some of the promises the PLP made ahead of the election.

“Proposed initiatives included the creation of 10,000 new jobs, the implementation of a national mortgage bailout plan and returning the majority shares in the national telecoms company to state control,” the report read. “Two years later, many of these campaign promises remain unfulfilled.”

The report added “lackluster growth and continuing high unemployment” have encouraged a shift in the government’s policy toward a more aggressive and coordinated pursuit of new foreign direct investment as well as a renewed effort to implement promised reforms.

“After consulting with policy advisors -- the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and international experts -- the [government] acknowledged that its revenue base was extremely narrow and ill-suited to the expanding needs and demands of modern Bahamian society,” the report said.

“This explicit recognition inspired several policy changes, including expenditure cuts that resulted in a narrowing of the deficit by 22.6 percent to $209 million and a growth in reserves to $912 million in January 2014, as well as an overhaul of the existing tax system to include a proposal to introduce a value-added tax (VAT) in an effort to broaden the tax base.”

Christie noted that in his budget communication he outlined the government’s efforts to bolster the growth of the economy and to create jobs.

He said he is very optimistic about the future of the country.

Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian
 
Reads: 2434





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

Mac Donald Dixon:

For years the Bahamas has played poodle to the big boss next door. They have always been more American than CARICOM. Now the big boss pulling the chord, the poodle getting choke. Make up your minds where do you stand, are you Caribbean or are you American?


Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code



Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g. att.net, bellsouth.net, sbcglobal.net, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.



Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: