Yesterday I blogged about the Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Zhivargo Laing fumbling the ball when he had a great opportunity to lay it on the line with the Bahamian people about the seriousness of the country’s debt load and the steps he would take to bring the debt to GDP ratio back in line.
Oh well, a missed opportunity.
Then in yesterday’s Nassau Guardian, Mr. Hubert Ingraham, Prime Minister of The Bahamas advised that the revenue shortfall being experienced is so bad that “collecting “every dollar” owed to the government will not be enough to remedy the situation”.
He went on to outline that with the country in such an economic decline there are very few ways for the government to raise revenue:
1. Tax Bahamians more,
2. Reduce services, and
3. Borrow more money
Reading between the lines, we are up that proverbial creek and with the debt level where it is one wonders how much more the country can borrow, particularly when we consider that several years ago a Royal Bank of Canada economist was here and pointed out that we were borderline then. The country has only borrowed piles more money and printed piles more dollars since then.
Regretfully, the question, “how did we get here?” never seems to be asked.
Of course I have a premise. And that is, government attempts to do far too much, and when that fails, they try to do more.
In other words, the country is not in a good financial position, but it is the making of successive governments.
Regretfully, it looks like the powers that be will only look to short term solutions like higher taxation and more debt for future generations to pay back.
Another missed opportunity? Perhaps.