I sure hope I misread the news article recently that quoted the Prime Minister, Mr. Hubert Ingraham as saying his government was having to borrow $150 million a month to keep paying the country’s bills.
These are difficult times for sure, but it’s not like there were no warning signs for successive governments had they taken the time to read them.
As noted in March this year by the Nassau Institute, Since 1991 the National Debt of The Bahamas has risen from $870 million to $3 billion, a staggering 244.8 percent increase in 18 years. That’s what, a $118 million increase each and every year.
With the national debt fast approaching $3.5 billion and a declining GDP it appears we are in for a rough ride. I realise the subject is taboo but how long can we go borrowing and spending without devaluation of the Bahamian Dollar?
The following charts, courtesy of the Bahamas Central Bank, that might jolt a bit if you missed them when the Nassau Institute released them several months ago.
As you can see, the debt trend was approaching dangerous levels before the world economic downturn last year, leaving very little wriggle room.
The Bahamas Government has some painful steps to take. The question is, when will they start to make the adjustments in spending that are necessary?
In the meantime, families need to give more consideration as to how best they can assist each other.
There seems to be a growing sense of dread.
We can pull through, but must hope that the Government and Official Opposition begin to understand their role in helping us get to this breaking point so future generations are better prepared to deal with downturns than we are.