Davis: Bahamians now know they were misled by FNM
Results of the latest Public Domain survey show that the Bahamian people now realize they have been misled by the Free National Movement (FNM), Leader of the Opposition Philip Brave Davis said yesterday.
Seventy-six percent of respondents surveyed, just days after the budget communication, said they oppose the budget.
Twenty-four percent support it.
Only seven percent agreed with the government’s characterization of its new budget as “The People’s Budget”.
Speaking to The Nassau Guardian outside Parliament, Davis said, “I share the views of the majority of the Bahamian people. If you would remember, I gave a statement before the budget was presented predicting what I saw happening, [and] it has come true.
“I indicated to them that this is not a people’s budget and it is clear what they are prioritizing is not what is for the Bahamian people, the ordinary Bahamians, but rather for their people.”
During the budget communication, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest announced that value-added tax (VAT) will increase from 7.5 percent to 12 percent effective July 1 and as of August 1, VAT will be removed from all breadbasket items, except sugar, which will be removed from the breadbasket.
Turnquest also announced that gaming house revenue will be taxed “through the introduction of a sliding scale of rates applied to taxable revenue”.
Eight hundred respondents throughout The Bahamas were interviewed in the Public Domain survey.
The survey revealed that 73 percent of respondents oppose an increase in VAT and 73 percent said the decision to increase gaming house taxes as high as 50 percent is unfair.
Eighty-nine percent said the government should consider the loss of jobs in the gaming industry if new taxes are passed.
Sixty-two percent believe the budget is designed to benefit special interests within the FNM.
Sixteen percent said it is a budget like any other budget, and 15 percent said they did not know.
Speaking about the budget, Davis insisted yesterday, “It does not help the Bahamian people at all, and as I will hopefully demonstrate during the course of my contribution, they are being very patronizing.
“It’s almost insulting to say that they are giving exemptions on breadbasket items, but yet still raising VAT on other items.”
He added, “As we have been pointing out and I will continue to point out, when you achieve something by untruths…no lie lasts forever.”