The Bahamas government spends a substantial amount of our tax dollars in office rent for its Ministries and Departments. Based on the information that is available in the new 2017/2018 Budget, over $45.8 million has been allocated for office rental payments. Budget Heads for areas such as the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) which were removed from the national Budget by the former administration have not been re-instituted for the 2017 Budget, so any rental allocations that may exist under the PHA and other such areas cannot be seen by the Parliament and public and hence, are not factored into that $45.8 million figure. We also have not been told whether any of the newly discovered contracts entered into prior to the General Election include office rental contracts.
Moving forward, in what ways will the government be addressing how it could save monies for the public purse by cutting back on the amount of private buildings being used to house government offices? Is the government currently paying rent for buildings wherein sitting Members of Parliament and Senators, their spouses or dependents have a financial interest?
Expenditures For Key Utilities
The following allocations have been posted for the Ministry of Finance in the 2017/2018 Budget:
Electricity – $28 million
Gasoline – $6 million
Lease on government vehicles – $5 million
Street lighting – $12 million
Telephony – $7.3 million
Articles on spending and borrowing in Budget 2017 to follow.