Monday, 24 April 2017

DNA is committed to Fiscal Responsibility

Nassau, Bahamas - The Democratic National Alliance was correct on our projections of this administration’s wasteful spending during this 2016/2017 budget year. To date, the budget deficit is trending upwards towards $500 million dollars and more. This was something we in the DNA foreshadowed from the last budget communication and we can certainly say that, unfortunately, we were right.

It’s time for Bahamian policy makers to not be changed, but to change the way things are done.

In a recent article in The Tribune we read a brief synopsis of an Inter-American Development Bank Report that urged small developing nations, like The Bahamas, to adopt Fiscal Rules as a way to curb the wasteful spending.

In a nutshell, a “Fiscal Rule” is a target on spending that a government sets for itself. For example, a government has set a 10% budget maximum on how many vehicles can be purchased within that amount.

The DNA has not only committed to Fiscal Responsibility as a way to curb the rampant spending of our government by way of a Fiscal Responsibility Act, but we have also committed to a 15% year-on-year Fiscal Spending Rule that would limit the amount of wasteful and ad-hoc spending undertaken by the government.

We must commit to a spending limit. It just makes sense!

The DNA has also pledged to monitor the way in which our spending is done, and have pledged to commit to new and improved performance indicators as a way to monitor projects and spending more closely, so we can begin to cut projects that are not working effectively and on the flipside spend more money on projects that are proven to be successes.

What would also buttress our Fiscal Rule Regime is the matter of our government committing to a National Procurement Agency, which can not only monitor the issues of inflated contracts, but also advise the government on how project monies are spent after projects are started and how best we can manoeuvre around mis-procurement if the need arises.

More importantly, the DNA has committed to Fiscal Transparency in the way we administer our financial affairs, and that means new and improved data analysis tools, reporting schemes in addition to reporting mandates that are set by law and punishable in the most strictest terms must be implemented and kept.

These are just a few of the initiatives on the fiscal side that warrants immediate attention from a new government. The times are too dire and the mood over our economy and finances are too desperate and urgent action from a new slate of people is needed now!

Youri Kemp
DNA Candidate for Garden Hills
DNA Spokesperson for the Economy

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