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Turnquest Clarifies Remarks On Spending

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

FINANCE Minister Peter Turnquest yesterday clarified recent remarks he made on a local talk show, saying it was not his intent to tell people how to spend their money but to only give Bahamians sound “financial advice” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also said his comments were taken out of context and conveyed an unintended message.

During a recent appearance on Hard Copy with host Steve McKinney, Mr Turnquest suggested some Bahamians lacked sufficient funds to pay their rent or mortgage due to spending all their money on food.

“(They) spend all their money on food and then found that they couldn’t pay their rent or they couldn’t pay their mortgage because it’s all tied up in the cupboard,” Mr Turnquest said, in a 30-second clip that made the rounds on social media this week.

The comment sparked public outrage, with many calling the minister’s words “insensitive” to the needs of the unfortunate, “disappointing” and “completely disrespectful”.

Saying the remarks were taken completely out of context, Mr Turnquest told reporters yesterday it was “unfortunate” his statements were edited to falsely misrepresent his views and convey a message that was not “intended”.

He said: “It’s unfortunate that some person sought to cut up a statement or sentence to make it appear as being something that is not intended.

“The host and I were having a conversation about long lines and persons gathering at the food stores and hoarding supplies and the basic comment that I was making was that persons do not have a need to hoard or stand in long lines because the prime minister has indicated that there are adequate supplies for everybody.”

He continued: “And so, just basic personal financial advice, do not spend all your money at once but to budget and to stay within your normal spending pattern because we don’t know how long this is going to take and we know that we need money to be able to take care of all of the necessary commitments that we have.

“So, again it is very unfortunate, and some very sick mind would seek to do something like that but it’s unfortunately where we are today with persons who just want to try and make political points.

“But, again it was no disrespect and there certainly is no intent to attempt to tell people how to spend their money or how to criticise anybody, but just good sound personal financial advice.”

Asked by reporters whether he felt he needed to issue an apology to those who may have been offended, the deputy prime minister said he didn’t believe one was necessary.

“I don’t think any apology is necessary because again, this is not about accusing anybody of doing anything bad or wrong. It’s personal advice, personal financial advice that we should all heed, whether in this time or in normal times.

“And that is simply to fix a budget, live within that budget so that you have security and can take care of all the commitments that you have.”

Comments

TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Keep talking your switching versions comrade finance minister, likes as if *untold millions colony's PopoulacesOrdinary at-large believed a single word - today, yesterday - nor be uttered out the same mouth's - tomorrows... and the great portion rest work permitters and undocumented about too, to switch political sides. Nod once for yeah, twice for no?

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yari 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This clueless, insensitive, pompous fool needs to keep his mouth shut!

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mandela 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Members of parliament mainly the ones in government needs to check themselves before they speak to the public, they have a trend of making insensitive statements, if you want hot water put a tub in the sun, stop buying hair weaves or shopping so you can pay your BPL bill, now you buying food instead of paying rent in a time when thousands are out of a job and hungry. Should a person with $300. to spend for the month pay their rent and starve.

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birdiestrachan 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Turnquest is correct in what he said. It seems the people panicked and went overboard with grocery shopping. the expiration date may run out on them.

The run on toilet tissue is beyond my understanding.

It is important to have a balance. No one knows how long this situation may last. there will be less money in circulation.

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jackbnimble 2 months, 2 weeks ago

And to think he’s getting his full salary at the end of this month which will allow him to pay his bills and purchase groceries while the rest of us mere mortals get to depend on a cheque from NIB that will barely cover either.

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