Collie hits at Roberts’ Minnis comments
Calling Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts delusional for his defense of the “failed record” of the Christie administration, Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Sidney Collie said yesterday it is clear that Prime Minister Perry Christie and his colleagues are going into the New Year in a “downward spiral”.
He said the on cue insulting and nonsensical statements from Roberts, which he called a side-show to distract the Bahamian people, fails to address “central challenges facing our country”.
“It’s time for this PLP government to face facts,” Collie said in a statement.
“The Bahamian people see right through their talk and see that they have continued to fail them in 2016.
“It is safe to say that next year is an election year.
“For good reason, Bahamians lost faith in this government and its… leaders long ago, so it should come as no surprise that after years of empty rhetoric and broken promises, the Bahamian people don’t believe anything that they say.”
Roberts this week accused FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis of continuously “echoing” the plans of Prime Minister Perry Christie and adopting them as his own. He said Minnis usually reacts to the prime minister, followed by a flip-flop, and ends up in the end channeling Christie.
Collie said Bahamians know that Minnis has advocated for a solarization program for years and has continued to call on the government to privatize Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival while the government pumps millions of dollars into the event.
In May, Minnis said his government would focus more on Bahamian culture and would leave what’s “not ours” to the private sector.
In a more recent interview with The Nassau Guardian, the FNM leader said the party would continue to support carnival as a private venture and channel only its marketing through the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For the inaugural event, the government spent $12.9 million on carnival, though it budget $9 million.
This year, the government contributed $8.1 million toward carnival, while the Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) spent a total of $9.8 million.
However, $7 million was budgeted.
But the BNFC has focused less on the profitability of carnival, or lack thereof, and concentrated on the “multiplier effect” of the festival, estimating the economic impact nationally was $70 million – $49 million on New Providence and $21 million on Grand Bahama.
Collie said, “Every time that delusional Roberts issues another… press release, it just shows how desperate they truly are. As is a typical page torn from the PLP’s playbook, delusional Roberts is trying to distract the Bahamian people again. But facts are facts, and try as they might they can’t be ignored. The Bahamian people know that the FNM will stand vigilant to make sure this government is held accountable and will follow through on helping Bahamians despite the PLP’s distractions.”
Roberts said with only months before an election must be called, Minnis “continues to struggle in finding his leadership footing in articulating policies that support this new direction he keeps talking about.”