I see that Minister Halkitis finally responded to my article on the government stripping the Budget of its standard salary and staffing pages. His explanation? They removed these documents to make the Budget “more user-friendly”. Typical response from a government that believes every single Bahamian is stupid, and a government that believes the Opposition won’t do a thing. The only “user” the Budget is now “more friendly” for is the government, who removed these documents so that the Parliament and the country can no longer know and track line by line what is happening with the salaries of Ministers and public service employees, as well as the staff count in each Ministry and Department.
The documents the government removed from the national Budget (formally called Personal Emoluments documents) exist to ensure accountability and guard against abuse of the public purse, because they enable us to track line by line what the government is doing with public funds as it pertains to salaries and staff count. Now that those documents have been removed, wide-scale abuses of the public purse, including granting raises outside of the law, become possible and would be hidden from Parliament and the country. I guess since I admonished Minister Halkitis up front not to bother coming with the “clerical error” fable that was given last year when other salary matters were exposed in that Budget, he opted to come up with the even dumber and more insulting “user-friendly” fable this time around. This government is a corrupt disgrace.
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