Between January of 2015 and June of 2018, the government says it expects to collect almost $2 BILLION FROM US IN VAT. TWO BILLION DOLLARS FROM OUR POCKETS TO THE TREASURY. Remember, we were originally told that our VAT money would be used to cut into our debt levels.
So then why does the government’s Budget say that GOVERNMENT DEBT IS GOING TO INCREASE EACH YEAR DURING THAT PERIOD, AND THE IMF NOW SAYS DEBT TO GDP WILL ALSO INCREASE FOR THIS YEAR AND NEXT YEAR? Continue reading
A reported $12 million was spent on Carnival this year. During the Carnival firestorm, government officials claimed they would increase their funding to our annual Junkanoo Festival. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH EXTRA MONEY WAS PUT IN THE NEW BUDGET FOR THE NATIONAL JUNKANOO FESTIVAL? ZERO EXTRA DOLLARS. That’s right. ZERO EXTRA DOLLARS. Carnival gets $12 million. Junkanoo, which has been getting $1.5 million for YEARS, is still stuck on that same $1.5 million beat, no increase, no change. (Budget Head 47, Block 90, Line Item #911219)
So much for expanding “our” culture.
I wrote about this last year as well. The government plans to spend an extra $254 MILLION on Recurrent Account in 2015/2016. Last year they spent $137 MILLION extra. And how much of that extra money in grants did any of our nation’s youth-based organisation’s get? ZERO EXTRA DOLLARS BOTH THIS YEAR & LAST YEAR. With combined additional spending of ALMOST $400 MILLION in these two Budget years, you mean to tell me that these national groups that figure so positively and prominently in the development of our nation’s young people could not get ANY of that EXTRA spending? And the Self Starter Program that was established in the previous term to help young people start their own businesses, was CUT BY 83% THIS NEW BUDGET YEAR. Continue reading
Now we see why the Public Debt Documents (Heads 26 and 27) of the 2015/2016 Budget were stripped from the Bahamian people’s Budget. Some of that missing Debt Payment information has remarkably turned up. In 2014/2015, just over $259 MILLION was budgeted to be paid toward our public debt interest payments (formerly Head 26). IN 2015/2016, ONLY JUST OVER $266 MILLION HAS BEEN BUDGETED FOR THOSE DEBT PAYMENTS – JUST $7 MILLION MORE. Now. The government claims that between January 1 and June 30 of this year it would have already collected over $150 MILLION of our VAT dollars. For the 2015/2016 Budget, it says it expects to collect another $544 MILLION. WHY ONLY BUDGET $7 MILLION EXTRA TOWARD THESE DEBT PAYMENTS IN THE 2015/2016 BUDGET WHEN YOU CLAIM YOU WILL TAKE IN A STAGGERING $544 MILLION OF OUR MONEY IN VAT? THAT IS ONLY JUST OVER 1 (ONE) PERCENT OF OUR VAT MONEY GOING TOWARD THESE EXTRA DEBT PAYMENTS THIS BUDGET YEAR. Continue reading
Those of you who have been following