Budget outlines govt arrears
The 2018/2019 budget outlines a number of significant outstanding government arrears.
Toping that list of arrears is a $17 million bill to cruise line operators.
The government owes $11,921,474 for a Bahamas Electrical Corporation (BEC) arrears action plan and $10,265,412 for Bahamas Telecommunications (BTC) arrears. The National Drug Plan is owed a total of $13,589,278, and the Mortgage Relief Programme is owed a total of $233,000.
For its public private partnership with Arawak Homes, the government has arrears of $6 million. For development contracts with Canadian Bank Note, the government has arrears of $6,299,836.
The government also has arrears for Bank of The Bahamas (BOB) for a settlement for contingent liability and provision for resolve of interest payment at $17 million and $8,805,000, respectively.
Other arrears on that list include, $3,839,634 for water; $13,589,278 for rent; $50,227,305 for other outstanding commitments; and $2,215,279 for capital outstanding commitments.
Value-added tax refund arrears total $10,750,750.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest announced yesterday an increase in VAT from 7.5 percent to 12 percent.
In his communication, Turnquest said the government must find a way to pay off its “massive backlog of arrears” and set the stage for pending reductions in customs duties when The Bahamas to join the World Trade Organization next year.