It was not even a year ago that Peter Turnquest, the lousiest, clueless, worst Minister of Finance, in the history of our country, stood on his feet to boast about how he was going to run the lowest deficit in the history of the last decade of the country’s finances. He also in order to please the international community stood to his feet in the House of Assembly to say that he was passing the Fiscal Responsibility Bill which would force the government to act within certain parameters unless there was an emergency situation. This was to be the panacea for the consistent deficit spending of all previous Ministers of Finance.
Translation, he was the greatest Minister of Finance ever and all the previous finance ministers of the country did not know what they were talking about.
Of course, the PLP told him he was talking fool. One hurricane and the whole game was over.
Mr. Turnquest had come to office with this hubris that he was the man and that the PLP did not know what it was doing and had wasted the country’s money. Not so we told him. In fact his own experts told him that the only problem with the deficit was the two hurricanes that hit The Bahamas in 2015 and in 2016. Apart from that the deficit was trending in the same direction downward.
Now look what has happened. The hurricane came just as we told him. Dorian hit in September and the country is reeling. The fiscal situation of The Bahamas is dire. The Minister has a real problem with cash flow. He had to announce in the House of Assembly last week that he is going to have to borrow 507 million dollars to keep us going and the deficit is going to be 700 million dollars and the national debt will balloon to 9 billion.
Of course there is a double standard operating when it comes to the PLP and the FNM. The local pundits and the international lending agencies will probably pat Mr. Turnquest on the back and say he is going a great job. But we know the story , the real story in The Bahamas. People are suffering. The country’s poor are more oppressed than ever. There is no money on the ground and the two years that the FNM has spent stopping, reviewing and cancelling has been an unmitigated disaster for the country.
We have been set back 40 years.