By Chester Cooper, PLP Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister of Finance
We note the comments of Moody’s that appear in today’s paper forecasting that the government would need to borrow $2 billion this fiscal year.
We note that the government is still stubbornly sticking to its forecasts of $1.3bn.
Had this not been such a dire set of circumstances we would say, “I told you so.”
In March, we forecasted the same and advised the government “to go hard and to go early”.
By being reactive they will cost the Bahamian people handsomely.
For example, we forecasted that in the recent $600 million loan the Bahamian people will pay at least $200 million more over the life of the loan than they would have, had borrowing taken place earlier.
The price is more that the Bahamian people should have to pay.
We call on this government to be forthright and truthful in the forecasting of the government’s financial needs without any attempt to underestimate or sugar coat the realities. Reports of many of its programs running out of money tells the current reality.
The truth is that decisions made today will have a generational impact on the value of our dollar, the sustainability of our economy and our way of life.
Crisis management requires vision, forecasting and strategy.
We renew our call for a debt management committee to assist the government in managing, structuring and negotiating its current and future debt.