Davis tells Johnson to ‘speak for himself’

Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis yesterday told Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration Elsworth Johnson to “speak for himself”, after he said that Bahamians should better manage their money.

Johnson said many who complain of being unable to pay bills are spending money on non-necessities.

“It’s unfortunate that he (Johnson) would question the lifestyle of Bahamians to attempt to justify the exacting upon the backs of Bahamian people – the pain and suffering that…results from high electricity costs,” Davis said.

“…It’s directly as a result of their incompetence, their missteps and their much-used stop, review and cancel policy.

“Had they not engaged in that policy, today the Bahamian people would likely be seeing much better results from BPL.”

Davis insisted that the former Progressive Liberal Party administration left in place a plan to tackle the power giant’s issues, however the current administration “dismantled” that plan.  

Last week, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister refused to reveal what Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) base rate increase will be, noting he could not say much because the government is currently in “a quiet period”.

However, Bannister did indicate that the average household light bill will increase by $20 to $30 for roughly 10 months next year.

Responding to this, Davis said, “They’re also not making known to the Bahamian people what their plans are. They suggest that they’re in a quiet period where they cannot say what they’re doing yet until they completed whatever they’re doing.

“It’s for me now to opine how best they deal with this matter, but in my mind, they need to go back and see where they could salvage what was in place.”

On November 6, the government tabled the updated Electricity Rate Reduction Bond Bill, 2019, which will allow BPL to reduce its tariff rates to customers, fund its financial obligations and existing debt and establish an Electricity Infrastructure Disaster Fund.

In light of this, BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey said electricity consumers should brace for additional charges to their bills.

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