What should the first steps of Prime Minister The Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis and his new FNM Administration be?
The PLP was soundly beaten by the FNM. It was a blood bath with previously untouchable PLP strongholds going to the FNM by huge margins.
Shoot, even the PM lost the seat he held for 43 years.
But now the tough work has to begin. The harsh realities of The Bahamas after the PLP mismanagement have to be faced and dealt with. It will be a tough job.
My Advice is simple: Rip the band-aid off!
There can be no doubt that this country is in poor financial state. Therefore I believe the new administration should resist the temptation to try to soften the blow.
Instead they should make tough bold decisions that may hurt in the short term but will put us on better footing in the future;
- Increase Vat by at least 2.5% for the next 3 years.
- Put in place a low percentage payroll tax to pay for NHI (is it too late cancel it?)
- Postpone police payouts for first year or two and then pay incrementally rather than in one lump sum
- Postpone public service increments for first year
- Freeze all new government permanent hires of non technical staff
- Outsource non essential services
- Reduce The Public Service by sending home retirees over a period of two years while their jobs are documented and understudied
- Fire or medically board all chronically absent employees
- Decrease subsidies to quasi government organizations
- Tightly control spending and revenue collection to eliminate wastage
These are tough decisions and certainly Bahamians will cry out, but as with ripping off the Band-aid, it will only hurt for a moment and then get better.
Perhaps before all of these decisions are made, the initial step should be to Audit EVERYTHING and publish the results, that way there would be an obvious need. Further, these decisions should lead to a clearly articulated outcome that people can see and understand.
Hopefully we don’t suffer any catastrophic hurricanes and the world economy remains stable.
How do you feel about these recommendations? What do you think Prime Minister The Honorable Dr. Hubert Minnis and his administration should do first?