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‘Fake News’ - 15% Vat Rate Rise

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.

By SYANN THOMPSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

sthompson@tribunemedia.net

DEPUTY Prime Minister Peter Turnquest has refuted what he called “misinformation” about value added tax increasing to 15 percent in January 2020.

Mr Turnquest, who is also Minister of Finance, said despite social media speculation the government has no plans to increase VAT in the near future.

“I have said publicly and privately that the government has no intentions to raise VAT in the foreseeable future,” Mr Turnquest said.

“The hurricane dealt us a significant setback however, it will not derail us from the path we have been on to bring long-term sustainable relief to the Bahamian people and improve our fiscal rating.”

His comments came a day after Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said he believes the country is heading toward a financial crisis and could possibly have a credit downgrade. However, Mr Turnquest is resolute there will be economic activity in 2020 that will give the country a boost.

“With reconstruction activity and new investments, we expect growth to accelerate next year and for us to achieve the desired deficit and debt to GDP goal by 2024,” said the finance minister.

Last week, Mr Turnquest outlined the government’s Fiscal Strategy Report in the House of Assembly which shows that the nine-figure deficit will continue for the next five years. Despite the national debt soaring to 1.3 billion in five years, the deputy prime minister said last week that tourism arrivals partnered with foreign direct investment remains “on track” and will allow the country to shrug off Hurricane Dorian’s devastating impact. He added to this that the economy will expand by 2.1 percent in 2021.

For his part, Mr Davis said he thinks the situation is worse than the government is willing to admit. 

Mr Davis said on Sunday: “This administration is now at a crossroad. It can no longer pretend that it has a handle on this self created fiscal crisis. The impact of Dorian cannot be used as the reason for the obvious decline in the government’s ability to provide basic public service. Many Bahamian businesses have failed or are now on the verge of failing because of the gross fiscal mismanagement of this ‘balance sheet’ administration who ignores legitimate contractual obligations to achieve contrived and elusive deficit targets.”

Mr Davis said the government should establish an Economic Advisory Council “forthwith” to look at the fiscal and economic state of the country and design a social contract that would “provide binding guidelines for expenditure, revenue, wage and pension reform policies over the next five years.”

“This is a perilous time for the Bahamas as the government has proven itself incapable of managing the economic and fiscal affairs of this country,” he added.

“No amount of hubris, arrogance or grandstanding by the current minister of finance can change this reality. It would be incredibly selfish and unpatriotic of me and my political colleagues to watch and do nothing as this administration through sheer incompetence drives this country over a fiscal cliff. We believe that the true fiscal state of this country is worse than being reported by the government as blatant political considerations now seem to govern the reporting and classification of government expenditure and revenue. One obvious example is the treatment of the purchase and ongoing operating subsidy to the Grand Lucayan, amounting to $77 million in expenditure, is being classified as an investment so as to exclude it from the deficit calculation. There are others: the shareholder loan to Aliv of $10.5 million, the treatment of the loan to the Bahamas Power and Light of $15 million and VAT refunds to Buckeye and Statoil estimated at $50 million.”

Comments

proudloudandfnm 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Let em win next election though. More like 22%....

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sweptaway 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Near Future is absurd ! why not say never and mean it

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah, and notice how right after he says no VAT increase in the "near future", he says no VAT increase in the "foreseeable future."

Both Minnis and Turnquest condemned the last PLP government for the introduction of VAT at 7.5% and promised during their campaigning in the run up to the general election in May 2017 that they would not increase taxes if the FNM won the election. And then soon after they were elected, they hurriedly increased the VAT rate by a whopping 60%, from 7.5% to 12%.

The Minnis-led FNM government has since proven that it only knows how to govern by increasing both our national debt and our taxes. Minnis and Turnquest have clearly demonstrated both their unwillingness and inability to cut costs to any great extent anywhere within our grossly over-bloated, very costly and non-productive civil workforce. And the same applies for all of the bloated head counts at government owned enterprises.

If the Minnis-led FNM government wins the next national general election, it is a virtually certainty Minnis and Turnquest would quickly increase the VAT rate yet again, likely by another whopping percentage of at least 67%, from the current rate of 12% to at least 20%.

Voters must keep in mind for the next general election that these two bozos, Minnis and Turnquest, are utterly incompetent and therefore only know how to govern by increasing our national debt and taxes.

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yeahyasee 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Definitely see your point. Serious question....WHO ELSE to vote for? Basically we take Minnis/Turnquest or Brave/Chester

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proudloudandfnm 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Yup, cause the DNA is nothing but children with pipe dreams. Sad, DNA could have been a contender, all they needed was some actual talent.....

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months, 2 weeks ago

There will be two or three candidates running as independents in each constituency in the next general election. Vote for the best one running as an independent who is known to have little or no association with the established political parties, i.e. do not vote for a candidate who has well known ties to the PLP, FNM or DNA. Once elected, the first order of business for these independents will be to form a new party, hopefully one that constitutes a majority of seats in the house of assembly. The second order of business will be the selection of a PM.

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Porcupine 7 months, 2 weeks ago

And, while raising the taxes they are also strangling the local economy. But, economics is not, apparently, this governments strong point. But, it is certainly refreshing to hear something sensible come out of Davis' mouth, it's not like we've been served any better, no matter the party.

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licks2 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I gone away for awhile and leave you "talking fally". . . still dishonest as usual. . .useless for good dialogue!!

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TalRussell 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah, no, the encoding and decoding for when Comrade KP, does trust Fake News! The authenticity Fake News can only be certified by KP, if its a red brand, written, produced, directed and orchestrated from and out PMO, by the 40 propagandists agents hired on the PopulacesPurse. You can't make this up, you just, cant.

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TheMadHatter 7 months, 2 weeks ago

"..For his part, Mr Davis said he thinks the situation is worse than the government is willing to admit. "

If Mr. Davis this thinks this he should use his position as CHAIRMAN of the Public Accounts Committee to DEMAND answers instead of speculating rumors.

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Sickened 7 months, 2 weeks ago

That entails work and that's not what the PLP are all about. Also, there's no money in it therefore not happening.

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TheMadHatter 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Sickened - yes - also most Bahamians don't even know the PAC even exists. BOTH Parties do an excellent job of keeping it a secret. Junkanoo, church, dominoes, beer, and reggae music. That's all Bahamians need. They leave the big money, fine clothes, and international travel and international education to the few elites that they ink their fingers for. Bahamians know the rules, Give 10% of your money to God and shut ya mouth.

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birdiestrachan 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Turnquest is a masterful liar. it was him and doc who said VAT was bad then they raised it 60%

Turnquest looked into the camera without a blink and said the increase in BPL bills is not a TAX it is a FINR

They want to win an election if they do. they will raise VAT t0 25 cents.

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TalRussell 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah, no. Don't you thinks it’s fair asks if increasing VAT to 15% is not the top priority colony's comrade finance minister, then why is KP so stuck be talking about VAT going up to 15%.

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Sickened 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I think everyone heard 15% and we all assumed VAT. How silly of us. The 15% pertains to Income Tax. Duh!!!

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mandela 7 months, 2 weeks ago

In 2020 pennies or the one cent will be gone, so if an item today cost $1.12, in 2020 that same item will cost $1.15 rounded off to the nearest whole, so if that isn't a form of tax then i don't know what is, they (politicians) know that our national average is D, they know that in maths it's E, F, or G,. As we know BPL is also adding on the elec. bill another form of tax even though they say different. In the end, in 2020 Bahamians will be paying up to 20% or more in taxes. Rough times are just around the corner come 2020.

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licks2 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks. . .these are the kind of discussions we should be having. . . NOW THERE IS THE RAISE IN VAT. . .IT IS NOW EFFECTIVELY 15 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR!! For example, move up to 13. . .14? Yes, only 15 is the next discreet denomination up from 13 or 15. . .we have 15 cents but no 13, or 14. . .just 15!! Effectively. your 12 % VAT just moved up to 15 cents. . .you don't think they will round back down to 10 cents aye?

That 1.12 moves 3 cents for the shop. . .3 cents for VAT. . . or 15 cents on the dollar!! Mr. Turnquest is right they will not be moving to 15% VAT in the near term. . .THEY HAVE ALREADY REACHED THE IMF requested 15 cents on the dollar. . .just by cutting out the cents!!

So Mr. Mandala, how you figure them shops will deal with their rounding to the nearest whole. . .they will be glad to move up but refuse to move down? Don't you think?

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TalRussell 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah, no. It would take 400 this comrade's blog posts and many hours reading about how the high privileged comrade finance minister's kinds living and mixing it up the colony's richerzone to more understand how the working popoulaces can become royally screwed by the governing Imperialists red shirts elected, the politically appointed, anointed and the fortunate enough be government hired - can all become a strain upon the popoulacespurse.

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