Bahamas’ high cost of living due to imports, DPM says
Following a recent report by CEOWORLD Magazine, which revealed that The Bahamas is the fourth most expensive nation in the world to live in, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest yesterday attributed that high cost of living to the country’s imports and the need to produce more.
Turnquest, who admitted that he had not read the report yet, said he cannot be sure what objective basis the report was compiled on.
“Certainly anyone who has traveled to London, France, or any of the European countries would have questions as to its validity on an objective basis,” he told The Nassau Guardian.
“Having said that, we are an island nation that imports almost everything that it consumes. Therefore, any goods we import adds not only to the cost of the good sources in that foreign supplier jurisdiction and their tax on that good, but now you have to add the cost of transport and domestic taxes on that good to get it here and the shelf.
“So it stands to reason that there will be an increase in the cost of living here verses say the U.S., who we like to compare ourselves to.
“The answer long-term is for us to produce more but that is a slow and culturally sensitive process as we improve productivity and capacity, as well as shift taste and lifestyle choices.”
The report, which was posted on the magazine’s website in late January, revealed that Switzerland is the most expensive nation in the world to live in; Iceland ranked second, Norway ranked third and The Bahamas was ranked fourth.
According to the report, CEOWORLD Magazine collected and reviewed data from different studies, consumer price index, Numbeo Cost of Living Index and other national and international media reports.
The assessment was based on a range of living costs such as accommodation, clothing, taxi fares, utility, internet, the price of groceries, transport and eating out.
The rankings are based on five major metrics inclusive of cost of living, rent, groceries, eating out and purchasing power.