Prime minister calls country’s financial situation ‘dismal’

The country’s financials are in a “dismal” state, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis told the media yesterday, adding that his government is trying to get answers to questions about how it got to the state it is in.

“Dismal” is all the prime minister would say of the state of the country’s finances, while Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis said a complete assessment is being done to find out what the country owes and when it owes it.

Both men made their remarks following the official opening of digital asset exchange FTX Digital Markets.

Davis highlighted that Financial Secretary Simon Wilson is back on the job after being sent home under Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ administration.

“He was sent home and still being paid for four years,” Davis said. “The government has been paying him for doing nothing… well, he’s back to work.”

Halkitis said it’s time for the government to get down to work, explaining that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating affect on the country’s economy and finances. He stressed that the Davis administration is now loosening the strings the former administration put on the economy through the COVID-19 emergency orders and will make good on its promise to lower value-added tax (VAT).

“Suffice to say, we’ve been severely hit by COVID-19,” Halkitis said. “It’s going to be a multi-period recovery. We made the commitment to reduce VAT and we want to do that very early.”

He said the government plans to make up any potential shortfall in revenue from the VAT reduction by focusing on revenue enhancement and making sure those who are able to pay their taxes are paying.

He said the government does not have plans for new taxes at this time.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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