Oct 17, 2022

Prime Minister Davis has once again failed to demonstrate leadership by failing to consult the Retail Grocers Association of the Bahamas and the Bahamas Pharmaceutical Association on the proposed changes to the Price Control List. The Opposition makes it clear that we believe every effort should be made to mitigate the harsh effects of inflation but in a manner that does not harm another industry.

The President of the Association has called out the Prime Minister for not consulting and making a unilateral decision that may cause lay-offs and store closures. The Prime Minister’s arrogance has once again put a valuable sector at risk. It could only be described as pure arrogance to make such a critical decision without consulting the very sectors that will be most impacted. We wholeheartedly agree with President Philip Beneby who raises the alarm about the proposed Price Control Basket, along with not being consulted on the increase of minimum wage and the 80% increase in energy costs.

The Prime Minister’s arrogance has endangered the livelihood of retail Grocers by giving them an unrealistic timeframe to meet the proposed changes, a factor that the Prime Minister could have easily avoided by consulting. The Prime Minister’s arrogance also “blindsided” the President of the Bahamas Pharmaceutical Association Shantia McBride on the markup affecting Pharmacists. The Association was not consulted and does not support the proposed changes.

The Prime Minister’s arrogance has once again caused great distress and confusion in both industries. The Davis Administration continues its ad-hoc way of governance without consulting and without proper data or evidence. Where is the data, report, or evidence that has driven this decision? We call upon the Prime Minister to provide the data which led to such a decision.

The Davis Administration has simply been stubborn in providing a simple helpful solution. We call upon the Government to remove VAT from existing breadbasket items and remove VAT from the proposed price control items. The Davis Administration refuses to revisit this decision simply because it was the FNM who first suggested it. Why should retail store owners and pharmacists suffer and risk layoffs and closure while the Government continues to collect VAT on these items?

The Hon Michael C Pintard

Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Leader of the Free National Movement

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