THE REASON THE PM ANNOUNCED “NO TAXES” FOR NHI, IS THAT HE IS NOT DOING NHI RIGHT NOW AT ALL. Prime Minister Christie NEVER announced in his Budget Communication that the government was going to start giving us insurance coverage to pay for our healthcare as of January. All he announced is that they were going to look at improving PMH and PUBLIC HEALTH, and they would talk with private insurance companies for ideas on how to do NHI AT SOME POINT OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. Continue reading
Sections (Heads) 26 and 27 of the Recurrent Expenditure Bill in the National Budget that show our national debt and our debt payments are now gone from the 2015/2016 Budget. This means the Parliament and the public can no longer see what our various outstanding loans/debts are, how much money the government is paying on each of those loans/debts, and where existing or new loans/debts are from and are coming from. Head 26 is Public Debt Servicing Interest (meaning interest payments on our debts) and Head 27 is Public Debt Servicing Redemption (meaning loan repayments). Now that the government is taking millions in VAT money from us, it has stripped the nation of the ability to see whether a dollar of that money is going toward our national debt. Here is a link to what those standard Public Debt Documents of the Budget look like (documents from 2014 Budget). Continue reading
The PM has just given his 2015/2016 Budget Communication and claimed he is giving us “tax relief”. Since the government claims its VAT revenue projections will be met (which is actually our money coming from our pockets anyway), and Mr. Christie is announcing that bikes, audio and visual equipment for churches and medical equipment will be made duty-free because VAT money is so good, why hasn’t more food items and clothing been made duty-free, and why hasn’t medicine and bread basket items been made VAT free as a tax relief measure? These are critical necessity items. Now that would be real relief for the average person who has seen the cost of consumer goods skyrocket since January 1 because of VAT and also pre-VAT price hikes. Continue reading
EDUCATION is one of this country’s biggest national emergencies. Those who are thirsty for public office but have yet to concretely show that revamping education has their utmost working attention, are not worthy of my attention as a Bahamian. Many people are talking about many things, but no true and tangible focus in those talks is being directed at the minds and souls of the Bahamian people. The topics that command the most public attention usually center around 3 Ps – Politics, Pornography and Propaganda – in all their forms. Progress though, cannot happen until building the minds of the people becomes more important than their politics, pockets or pedigree.
This is one of the MOST CRITICAL situations in the country right now. Debt to GDP is a comparison (ratio) of our level of debt to how much money we make. The higher the Debt to GDP ratio, the higher the risk that a country may go into default on its national debt. In our case, it also means the government may be more likely to INCREASE TAXES to try to get more revenue, especially since they won’t cut their spending and the economy is not growing as they projected it would. International agencies have warned The Bahamas not to break the 70% Debt to GDP ratio. As of December 31, we broke it, going to 73.4% according to the Central Bank. Continue reading
Are Marathon residents going to get the actual tests they truly need to determine their exposure to the chemicals found in gasoline at this late stage? Standard blood and urine tests at this late stage (over two years since the gas leak) are not going to be sufficient testing for what needs to be determined. Because such a long time has passed, deeper biological testing is required. Tissue samples/biopsies are among the tests that will be needed for all residents concerned to test for the primary and additive chemicals in the gasoline that residents were exposed to. If these specific bio-chem tests are not done and residents do have certain illnesses, it can be argued that their illnesses may be caused by other factors not linked at all to gasoline exposure. And if they don’t have certain illnesses now and those tests have not been done, they may be led to believe they are fine and will be fine in the future. Remember, at this point, medical testing is as much about getting necessary treatment as it is about getting justice for persons exposed.
If it meant that your beloved politician would be hauled off to jail; if it meant no more easy street based on who you know instead of what you know; no more getting unlawful tips as well as kickbacks and bribes under the table; no more promotions and positions you don’t qualify for nor deserve but get because of political connections; no more getting around laws and policies by placing a phone call to someone higher up; no more being able to pay someone to “do you a favor” that involves lawbreaking; no longer being able to flash a secret society ring in order to make sure you come out ahead regardless of law and policy; no more being able to command fear and obedience because of who you are linked to politically; no more unjust preferential treatment based only and solely on which politician/Party you support… Continue reading
How do we know what the quality is of our drinking water on our islands? Since fuel lines for our gas stations are underground, how do we know when leakages happen? And that’s of course just one example of potentials for groundwater contamination. Then there is air quality, particularly in areas like Freeport’s industrial zone and in Nassau with constant fires at the island’s dump. While diseases like cancer are often linked to lifestyle/diet choices, what about the water we are drinking and air we are breathing?
What has happened to Nassau victims affected by the gas spill in Marathon is more than just an environmental disaster. It is an humanitarian disaster. Justice must be sought against those at fault and those who kept this information from Nassau residents. This is a human travesty. Human lives have been impacted. What are some of the immediate ways forward? Continue reading