As we await the presentation of the 2017/2018 Budget, and as discussions on the cost of goods and services and the cost of doing business continue, here are several key questions we will be awaiting answers to:
1 – Is the government considering a repeal of the Value Added Tax Act provision that mandates VAT be charged on customs duties?
2 – When will we see further and substantial elimination of customs duties?
3 – What will be the specific considerations given to the current levy of business license fees? Continue reading
We know and have seen that the country’s finances are in a mess. Constitutional and forensic audits are to be done, the results of which are not yet known. Assessing our true financial state would undoubtedly take time. The first Budget of the new administration will be critical for our country and for our standing with international ratings agencies. To put itself on the best foot forward in the most critical task of managing our finances going forward, formulating a Budget that comes closest to working in line with our true financial realities once all or sufficient facts are known is the ideal. Continue reading
For the most part, Bahamians are peaceful about their political support. But for some of us, we take our support or desire to please a particular politician too far. Election violence is not foreign to The Bahamas. It just has not risen to the scale we have seen in neighboring countries. But that can change IF our leaders do not take deliberate steps now to make it clear to their supporters that violence and intimidation of any kind will not be tolerated or rewarded. New Providence in particular is a powder keg in some respects. Tensions can run high, even in our everyday interactions with one another. When you add in the kind of fervor that is stirred up during election season, violence can become the inevitable outcome – especially with so many desperate or power-thirsty people out there who see their Party as their livelihood. Continue reading
If there are independent candidates or otherwise out there that you believe in, why not help them, whether they are in your constituency or not? If you truly believe in changing the landscape of the legislature, it does not matter whether a good candidate is your personal representative or not. Help that person to get a chance to make a difference. If the names on the ballot in your area are ones you truly cannot see yourself voting for, then help another Bahamian who has potential, to get his or her feet in the door. There are some good candidates who happen to be on a party ticket. But if the party is that repugnant to you, assist others to succeed. If you consider yourself to truly be a person of progressive influence, you should be able to influence people to action that actually counts toward progress. A vote for a Bahamian with potential, counts. Continue reading
(Read Bill Below) The Bill was tabled Wednesday night (Feb 8) in Parliament. The Interception of Communications Bill 2017 is intended to replace the existing Listening Devices Act. The Bill allows for the interception of all communications on public and private systems. Communications in the Bill are speech, music, sounds, visual images, any form of data, any apparatus or signal used to transmit the same, and anything transmitted by postal service. Via the Bill, our communications can be obtained with a warrant granted by a Judge for the Commissioner of Police or someone he designates. The Bill also gives the Minister the power to obtain our communications without a warrant. This provision in particular is one I believe can be subject to abuse.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE BILL – (You can scroll to the bottom first if you wish to read the Bill’s Objects and Reasons. This is the section of all Bills that tells you the purpose of and reason for the Bill). Continue reading
The Bahamas is not a teaching society – meaning, education and proficiency is not the first priority in much of what we undertake. In every sector of our society, persons are given positions without knowing and understanding the fundamentals or post-fundamentals of that position. They then get in and as time goes on, the standard of the profession or calling is diminished in the country because the sectors are filled with people who do not know what they are doing, and then those persons are left to mimic others who also never got “taught in when brought in”. Hence, the cycle continues.
Our MPs ought to be required to demonstrate levels of proficiency in critical aspects of their job for the Bahamian people. I will focus on the Senate in a different post. Being a lawyer, doctor, accountant, etc does not automatically make you a proficient Parliamentarian or legislator. Continue reading
Leadership is hard. Leadership pulls and tests and many times hurts in ways those not in that position can never understand. Leaders are put on unreasonable pedestals and then quickly torn down from them at the first sign of weakness or humanity. We all have our grand opinions about what a leader should be and do, but have no idea what being in that position really entails. We are all experts in leadership though most of us have never seen the calling or office, and do not want it unless we believe it will give us power we are not fit to have. If you have a truly good leader (not ‘good’ by our warped standards of ‘what is in it for me’), fight for him or her the way he or she fights for you. One of the reasons we have so many bad leaders is we keep letting the good ones down, and we let them get consumed either by our own personal issues or by the system. The bad leaders stick around and keep getting to the top because they are part of the system and their lust for power won’t let them let go. If we keep blocking and failing the good ones, we will only be left and stuck with the bad ones. Continue reading
The People’s March has lit a fire and changed the game. Bahamians now see what they can do if they just step out and do it. In every movement it is harder to stay together than to get together. Higher levels, bigger devils. That is why you must guard against moves to break momentum by divide and conquer tactics. Support your leader and support one another. Don’t be content to merely ask “We marched, so now what?” Instead, ask what you can do to move the movement forward and get busy doing it. Continue reading
2016 is projected to be the hottest year on planet earth. The earth is getting warmer. Weather events are becoming more extreme. The earth’s climate is continuing to undergo change that is changing the course of life as we know it. The sweltering temperatures we are suffering through are no longer simply a typical matter of “just being hot”. Temperatures and heat indexes in The Bahamas are now becoming threats to health and life. Governments of The Bahamas must now develop policies and relevant legislation to respond to the public health and safety needs that arise due to rising temperatures. Our leaders travel abroad to make grand speeches at Climate Change conferences, only to return home making no change whatsoever to address the needs that now arise as a result of what experts attribute to climate change. Continue reading
The #SupportThePuff movement has caused us to have very necessary dialogs about who we are as people of color and how we see ourselves. Some of us have been taught to discount ourselves so much that any discussion about ourselves we consider to be overblown, or doing too much. But the discussion about how we see ourselves when we look at our reflection is far deeper than just fashion or style. Many of us do not understand how the messages we have been taught either directly or indirectly about our hair, our skin color, our skin tone, our facial features, etc factor in to how we treat ourselves and how we treat one another. Poor self-esteem is among the root causes of many of the life-altering mistakes we make. Many of us are destroying ourselves trying to look “right” in the eyes of others, and so many of us are just not comfortable in our own skin. Continue reading