Aug 29, 2022

The Opposition is dismayed that the Prime Minister continues to double down on a folly of his own making. Yesterday, the Office of The Prime Minister released a disjointed statement seeking to deflect from the Prime Minister’s inaccurate assessment of the components of the country’s debt and instead tried to suggest that I am trying to downplay the effects of Hurricane Dorian. All of us understand and accept the unprecedented catastrophe that Dorian represented for The Bahamas – and in particular for the people of Abaco and Grand Bahama.

We continue to suffer the effects of that event as persons and communities do their best to put their lives back together. The Opposition also stated in its original comments on the matter that it fully supports the efforts of the Prime Minister in his advocacy for The Bahamas and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as we bear the unbearable brunt of the effects of climate change caused primarily by the pollution generated by the developed world.

The FNM stands behind the government in all of its efforts to bring global awareness and to marshal resources in the fight against climate change. Nonetheless, we in the FNM have a constitutional obligation as the Official Opposition to hold the government to account. As such we are compelled to speak out when the government makes misleading and incorrect statements.

The Prime Minister must understand that the credibility of the government and the entire country is on the line when he makes official pronouncements. We repeat: There is no evidence to suggest that $6 billion of the $12 billion public debt was caused by the climate events between 2015 and 2019 as stated originally by the Prime Minister.

Further, in his ill-advised follow up, he made a further error in stating that the $3.4 billion in estimated damages from Hurricane Dorian make up a proportion of the national debt.

We pointed out to him that that publicized sum represented private sector and public sector losses combined. But, to put a rest to the discussion, the Prime Minister simply needs to release an itemized summary breakdown of the high level components of the $6 billion in hurricane related debt, as well as the $3.4 billion that are attributable to Hurricane Dorian. Doing so will end the discussion and provide assurance that his claims on the debt are factual and verifiable. END

Pin It on Pinterest