Minister Of Finance Peter Turnquest
Speaking at the Old Fort Bay Rotary Club on Monday 20 April 2020 by Zoom, the Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest had this to say about the Prime Minister’s attack on the business community made in his national address on 19 April 2020, reported by Neil Hartnell of The Tribune:
“I wouldn’t want to speak for the Prime Minister,” the deputy prime minister replied. “I know he’s frustrated, as we all are, that we are witnessing a situation none of us could have predicted, and are witnessing a challenge that is quite massive.
“I certainly recognise the contribution the business community is making to this country. We recognise there are many, many entities that are carrying their employees despite not receiving a dime of income.”
Mr Turnquest added that the private sector “really showed its colours and stripes” by the way it came through to provide Hurricane Dorian relief and assistance to those whose lives were devastated on Abaco and Grand Bahama.
“We all have civic responsibilities, and I believe most businesses in the country have been discharging that responsibility,” he said. “On this one I believe the Prime Minister may have let his passion run a little high but his heart is in the right place.
“He’s concerned about the number of people being put on the NIB line, and what that means for this level of support long-term that we are providing. I don’t think he meant it to be insulting or disrespectful, if I can use that term. He wanted to implore all of us to go the extra mile as best we can give the resources available.”