After much criticism over his administration’s frequent travels around the world and its associated cost, Prime Minister Philip Davis said yesterday that the budget for travel in the upcoming fiscal year will be reduced.
The government budgeted $12.2 million on travel and subsistence in the upcoming fiscal year compared to the $18.8 million it will spend for the 2022/2023 fiscal year.
“As much as has been achieved to revive abandoned relationships and restore the reputation of The Bahamas on the world stage, we will reduce travel expenditure to a level at or below fiscal year 2019/20 levels,” Davis said during the 2023/2024 Budget Communication.
“We will further advance efforts to introduce a contributory pension scheme for public sector employees to ensure that all can benefit upon retirement.”
The government spent $9.6 million on travel and subsistence in 2018/2019, and $12.7 million in 2019/2020.
Prime Minister Philip Davis has been criticized for his frequent travels.
The opposition said Davis should focus on the serious challenges facing Bahamians at home rather than traveling the world.
Last year, Opposition Leader Michael Pintard said, “People have to skip meals while they watch an entourage skipping into first class and business class and are [photographing] themselves showing off on the people’s dime. I would think that at least the PR consultants would say, ‘This is a not a good picture. The optics of this doesn’t look good.’
“People can’t eat, they have to skip meals and I in first class [taking pictures]? On what basis?
“Not taking the picture at a table negotiating with world leaders about transforming the lives of Bahamians, but I in first class, this me now.”