Bahamas News

Gov’t to launch fiscal improvement program

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister K. Peter Turnquest.

Government will be launching a fiscal improvement program to be rolled out over the next three months, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister K. Peter Turnquest has said.

 The multi-pronged program was announced by Turnquest during the Budget Communication when it was also revealed that the Government would need to borrow $722 million to cover deficits and outstanding bills.

 Turnquest said a detailed review of expenditure will be conducted to assess needs for improved efficiency and to identify areas where savings can be secured. The program will also include implementation of the IDB Public Financial Management Project, revenue administration legislation to formally produce a Department of Inland Revenue and the publication of a full list of financial subsidies previously provided to developers.

Turnquest said the program will promote transparency and  accountability in governance. “We will also seek to reduce these subsidies to an irreducible minimum and apply a very rigid test on future requests for financial subsidies to ensure that more money is available to finance the operations of the government,” he added. “Individuals and businesses should be alerted that, in this new era of accountability and transparency, this government will adopt a zero tolerance approach to those who do not pay their taxes. We will be fair and transparent in our enforcement efforts but we will also be decisive.”

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