Be careful what you wish for.
The now Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis knew the country had a lot of downsides that needed to be addressed. While in opposition, he repeatedly railed against the former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Government.
According to Dr. Minnis the PLP Government was a failed administration. He wooed the people and got them to believe in large numbers, across the length and breadth of the country, that they would be better off with another government, one that he led.
Well, he got what he wanted and it has been a period of turbulence for Dr. Minnis and his executive colleagues. Early in the administration, Dr. Minnis spoke boldly about a salary increase for parliamentarians. The great outcry was the first big sign of mass disapproval by voters who not too long before had embraced Dr. Minnis.
A year has gone by quickly.
The task seemingly is getting more overbearing by the day. It is a tall order indeed faced by this Free National Movement Government, under PM Dr. Minnis. On the national scene, the government has had to reverse major decisions because of the power of the people. In cases where the government has held firm, such as the added gaming premiums, the proprietors in that field of business are agitating for a reversal in their favor.
Meanwhile, the 4.5 percent tacked on to Value Added Tax (VAT) has many Bahamians unhappy and there are those who say they are just biding their time until they are able to pay back the government at the polls. Well, under normal circumstances, that’s more than three years away.
The discontent in the land is building though.
Here in Grand Bahama residents are unsettled because it doesn’t seem as though there is going to be an economic recovery any time soon. The Grand Lucayan deal fell through. The Oban Energies project doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. The purchase of the old Ginn Sur Mer property in West End sounds good, but in reality, looks far-fetched when one considers the complex financial situation the proposed buyers face.
So, Dr. Minnis and his Cabinet Ministers continue to talk about economic restoration in Grand Bahama.
Yes, they talk.
However, they haven’t delivered for the people of Grand Bahama, yet. Sometimes when they talk, members of the government sound as though they are just throwing out words to buy themselves time.
For instance, the Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes who has been appointed to co-chair a group that Dr. Minnis selected to hold discussions with the Oban Energies representatives, said the other day that the new deal will be much better than the original.
Well, any deal would be an improvement to the Heads of Agreement the government signed previously. This government signed that it was fine for Oban to put back into the communities just $100,000 annually, even though the project carries a $5.5 billion tag.
If Oban ups that to $300,000 per year, that’s still peanuts, a mere pittance in the grand scheme of things.
This government just might be in over its head.