True to form, this deeply divided and distracted Davis administration is once again whiffing and waffling over critical policy matters. The Davis team is a rudderless ship, without focused leadership and direction and we see this manifested once again in the NIB debacle over rate adjustments.
Yet again, we read of the Prime Minister openly contradicting the statements of his Minister responsible for NIB. Minister Laroda spoke with certainty last week that Cabinet had decided on the issue of the NIB rate increase, with only several residual details to be finalized. But as has become the custom with the Davis regime, the Prime Minister was quick to contradict him this past weekend and advise the public that the matter had still not been decided.
As the official Opposition, we are concerned about the clear discord and division between Minister Laroda and the Prime Minister. But we are compelled to point out that the interests of the Bahamian people are not served by the clear inability of the Cabinet of the Bahamas to speak with one single and clear voice on matters of importance to the country. This was evident with an initial announcement by BPL in early 2022 regarding a hike in fuel charge that the PM contradicted.
Is the Bahamian public going to see an NIB rate increase come July as was reported in the press? What are the details of what the Cabinet has decided? What details are left still to be determined. The government should report on its progress in collecting NIB arrears, prosecution of serial violators and how they intend to ensure that government entities who borrow NIB funds repay as mandated.
Furthermore, an update on how NIB funds is being invested would be crucial.
This is a government that is spending millions of dollars on public relations and photo ops. They would be better served by taking those resources to shape and publish a clear and comprehensive report to the public on what has been decided for NIB going forward.
The Hon Michael C Pintard
Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Leader of the Free National Movement
February 14th, 2023