Davis: Govt made spending and borrowing history
All of the graphics, charts, slick documents and fancy memes presented by members of the Minnis Administration during the budget debate cannot disguise the fact that the government has spent and borrowed more than any other government in the history of The Bahamas, according to Opposition leader Philip Davis, who predicted billions of dollars in borrowing will likely produce “an economic hangover that the country will take years to recover from”.
The government is set to borrow $1.3 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cover Covid-19 and Hurricane Dorian-related expenses.
It comes as the country faces an unprecedented budget deficit.
“The government has taken the dramatic step of securing a loan from the International Monetary Fund,” according to Davis.
“This is a decision that rightly concerns many Bahamians. The government owes us full transparency, so that the people know what is being agreed to in our name.”
“The government must also clarify how the $250 million loan is to be accounted for,” he added.
Davis called on the Minister of Finance to table in the House of Assembly the ‘Letter of Request’ signed by him and sent to the IMF.
“The Government has agreed for the IMF to publish this letter and for the accompanying analysis to be published, but has neglected to bring these documents to the House,” he said.
“The Government has made several policy commitments to the IMF. Not meeting these commitments would have serious implications for the country. It is vital that Bahamians understand how the Government plans to meet these obligations. Remember the IMF: It’s Minnis’ fault.”
Davis said this is a serious time but the Minnis Administration has failed to present a serious budget.
“This budget is a mess.
It is light on truth, and heavy on spin.
It does not speak to the present crisis.
It offers no vision, no credible policies and no plans for the way forward.
When all is said and done, it is not the people’s time,” he said.