Prime Minister says the numbers speak for themselves
February 11, 2015 (Nassau, Bahamas) – As part of his mid-year budget statement, Prime Minister Perry Christie highlighted to the House of Assembly, and to all Bahamians, the strength of the Bahamian economy, secured through the sound fiscal management of public finances by the PLP government.
The Prime Minsiter states, “As a result of our prudent approach to financial management, we are on track to reduce the deficit by more than $160 million in this fiscal year. Our deficit for the first half of the year will be 5% below our target. The policies we have put in place, coupled with the courageous financial decisions we have made, will ensure further strengthening of our finances in the second half of the year.”
The IMF projects real growth for The Bahamas this year and next year of approximately 2 per cent. In other words, real output in the Bahamian economy is expected to be more than $600 million larger in 2017 than it was in 2012. This means that during the PLP’s five year mandate, the economy will have grown by almost 8 per cent. This story of economic growth is in sharp contrast to the growth experienced during the pervious five years when the opposition FNM was in power, where the economy actually shrank by $239 million, or 3 per cent.
“Since my administration took office, revenue has grown by 6.2 per cent, including this year’s projected revenue. In comparison, under the FNM from fiscal year 2007/2008 to 2011/2012, recurrent revenue decreased by 1 per cent,” said Prime Minister Christie.
As of December 31st, 2014, $689 million in revenue has been collected, which represents about 40 percent of the government’s revenue forecast. Given the implementation of VAT, this number is expected to increase significantly in the second half of the fiscal year.
Government spending is trending below forecast, having spent 49 per cent of the budget. Capital investments in areas such as property, equipment and technology have also been carefully managed, spending only 41 per cent of the budget to date.
Given the success in the first half of the year, and the expectation of a significant revenue stream with the implementation of VAT, the government will be better positioned to make vital investments in healthcare, education, culture and public safety that Bahamians deserve and expect. Having access to sufficient resources to finance these vital expenditures will reduce the government’s borrowing needs.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” continued the Prime Minister. “All Bahamians benefit from economic growth, irrespective of party affiliation, and the PLP will continue to improve the economic outlook to ensure a stable and prosperous Bahamas for the generation of tomorrow.”