Author: Rick Lowe

Fiscal Gyrations and Attempted Justifications?

Financial Secretary Simon Wilson, while speaking at Bahamas Chamber of Commerce State of the Economy 2017 event last week finally publicly acknowledged they are implementing the Coalition for Responsible Taxation recommendation that they needed to get the tax dodgers before hitting the taxpayers and business community with new taxes. Regretfully they hit the business community and taxpayers up with additional taxes first and are only now, two years later, going after the tax dodgers. He is also reported to have said that courier companies were stealing from the public treasury. While the courier companies may have broken the law,...

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Political Propaganda is Starting To Roll Out

With elections constitutionally required by May 2012, we knew it had to start and as usual the political propaganda is predictable. The first group through the neighbourhood so far is the Democratic National Alliance – The DNA, and their standard bearer for Montagu, Ben Albury left a flyer outlining his party’s goals at the door. Really they’re simply cute phrases, nothing more than symbolism over substance. Here’s a few of them: Re-Establish Social Protection First-World Global Education and Training Legitimize, Transform and Authenticate Bahamian Culture Strengthen The Family Rebuild Christian Values Diversify Industry Structure Ensure Food Security and Sustainability Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness And an obligatory quote from the Bible about vision and perishing is thrown in for good measure of course. Okay, I’ll admit that I’m older and more cynical now, but the reality is governing politicians have their hands so full trying to ensure the Civil Service gets the job done with their current responsibilities that to expect them to do just the eight additional items above is nigh on impossible. Besides, are these things really the purview of the political class? Not according to the Bahamian Constitution any way.And after all those and more, there is not a single word about fixing governments fiscal and monetary imbalances, probably the most crucial problem facing the nation and its future generations.Politicians seem to believe they have to...

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Do the PLP make our politics insoluble?

Henry Hazlitt was a fantastic economic journalist, and after he died in 1993 a collection of his essays were assembled in a great book entitled Is Politics Insoluble? Download a PDf copy here… from the Foundation for Economic Education. And most times I read some of the political diatribe from the Official Opposition I remember the following quote from page 118: “So while we may doubt that a truly “ideal” government will ever be designed, or “scientific” political institutions ever developed, we need not abandon the effort to improve them. But we must be prepared for setbacks and discouragements for as far as we can see.” Obviously some of the spokespeople for the PLP think we are so gullible we will accept cute slogans as possible ways to fix the myriad of issues the country faces. They act as if they didn’t have a hand in screwing things up in the first place. Mind you the FNM is sometimes just as bad when they are in Opposition, as are the DNA, the newest version of how to divide and conquer to gain the ultimate prize of political power. Ever notice how when in Opposition politicians run to any commotion they think will get their picture in the newspaper? Remember the DNA recently stating they would file a writ in Supreme Court on behalf of workers? And I’ll be willing...

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PLP Rhetoric: Continually Dividing to Conquer the Bahamas

I was recently involved in a matter whereby a PLP Senator, Jerome Fitzgerald, stated in the Upper Chamber of Parliament that the company I work for “committed an egregious offence against the Stamp Tax” Act. In a nutshell, we submitted an entry on May 25, 2010, for goods that arrived on May 24, 2010. The entry was approved on May 25, 2010, according to the Bahamas Customs stamp on it, and the Government announced a new tax rate on May 26, 2010. On May 27th we paid the approved entry, after getting a Manager’s Cheque from the bank as usual, and collected the product off the dock. 83% of it was subsequently sold. Almost a month later Mr. Fitzgerald took advantage of his lofty position of power and made his comments described above. To make matters worse, Bahamas Customs rescinded their original approval and charged the higher rate of duty based on an antiquated and unjust law that allows them to make changes retroactively. The Comptroller of Customs, after initially suggesting we did something unscrupulous, apologised in the press. See the newspaper story here… ( Fitzgerald was asked to do the same but refused. That aside, he attempted to make it a racial issue, seemingly a PLP tradition, by suggesting that so many other Bahamians had to pay the higher rate so how could we get away with what in his view...

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