Jun 5, 2024

June 4, 2024

Press Statement

Distracted Brave Davis commits $66 million budget error

Yet again, we find ourselves with an inattentive and ill-suited Prime Minister committing
yet another obvious error on statements related to public finances.

On this occasion, speaking to the current July to March performance of VAT collections
on realty transactions over $1 million during the budget statement, the Prime Minister
said the following:

“At the end of March 2024, we have only collected $15.1 million or 7.9 percent of the
[budgeted] total.”

The Prime Minister went on to explain that he and his Ministry of Finance were so
concerned with this underperformance that they took specific policy action to & “improve

The challenge is that budget statements presented in Parliament indicate a vastly
different outcome for that same nine-month period, from June to March. On page 9 of
the budget estimates, the results for that period show an intake of $81.4 million for that
category of VAT receipts, not $15.1 million as stated by the Prime Minister.

This is not a small typo or editing error; It’s a $66 million budgetary mistake.

Which one did the Prime Minister get wrong; The revenue numbers in the budget
statement, or the revenue numbers in the budget book? Inquiring minds want to know.

We recall that early in 2023, the Prime Minister was forced to apologize to the Nassau
Guardian when he apparently did not understand that the newspaper had accurately
reported what he said about his government’s increased fiscal deficit for the related
period. Confusion has become the norm under Davis; distracted leadership.

We have long called for the Prime Minister to slow down on his globetrotting and spend
some time focusing on work here at home. He is paid to execute his job as the Minister
of Finance, but his priorities are obviously elsewhere. If he has no intentions of cutting
back on his beloved travel agenda, he should consider appointing a full-time Minister of
Finance who will not embarrass the government and the country with repeated gaffes
on critical fiscal matters.

A Minister of Finance who cannot get the numbers correct is inexcusable.

Michael C. Pintard
Leader, Free National Movement

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