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$3bn Added To National Debt Without Vat

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

A Cabinet minister yesterday said $3 billion could have “easily” been added to the Bahamian national debt had the Christie administration not introduced Value-Added Tax (VAT).

Speaking as a guest on the talk show, the ‘Revolution’, Michael Halkitis, minister of state for finance, said: “We did the reform and it has paid off. I had a study done. What would we have added to the debt if we had not done the reform? It could have easily been $3 billion.

“We have added another $1 billion. We have done the reform, we are in a bad position, it’s improving and we are getting better.” 

VAT was introduced in January 2015 at a rate  of 7.5 per cent, with nearly $1 billion in VAT revenue having been collected to-date.

Mr Halkitis added that the Government had borrowed “just over $100 million” to defray the costs associated with its post-Hurricane Matthew restoration efforts.

He said the Government had received Parliamentary approval via a resolution to raise $120 million from Bahamas-based commercial banks, with a second tranche of up to $30 million offered to private investors.

    “We got approval for $150 million. I think we went and borrowed  just over $100 for Hurricane Matthew. Not all the banks participated in the bond so it was just over $100 million,” said Mr Halkitis.

He added: “There is a gap in the time to get that arranged and get all that financing organised. That takes some time, and you are beginning to spend. You can’t stand still waiting for the loan.”

Comments

JohnDoe 2 years, 8 months ago

Wow! Now you talking straight up Bull Dutta. Just shut up man because what you are saying just makes absolutely no sense.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 8 months ago

This guy Halkitis is nothing but a fooking dishonest SOB. The VAT regime was introduced for the purpose of reducing our national debt and decreasing our debt to GDP ratio. That was the solemn promise and undertaking made to the Bahamian people by Christie and Halkitis alike. Now this bone headed hot aired lying Halkitis, after using our VAT dollars to significantly grow the government and fund a multitude of wasteful projects, wants to make us believe that our national debt would be through the roof were it not for VAT. But that can only be true if Crooked Christie and his most dishonest gopher, Halkitis, have used our VAT dollars to very significantly increase the size of our costly non-productive inefficient corrupt government at just about all levels! This moron Halkitis should be taken to one of our national parks for stoning by the Bahamian people who have been robbed of the VAT dollars they paid over to the government.

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