By Sen. Fred Mitchell/ PLP Chairman
Following public uproar over a surprising new customs tax at the Lynden Pindling International Airport, the Minnis Administration was forced to backtrack on a new processing fee applied to customs declarations. It leads many Bahamians to question if this was yet another scandalous Kanoo collection scheme to line the pockets of FNM families, friends, lovers, and foreign political operatives.
On 27 July, the Finance Ministry issued a statement to advise that the government has temporarily suspended the implementation of the new customs processing fee to allow for additional training and customer education.
Clearly, Dr. Minnis, in his capacity as Finance Minister, thought he could tax the Bahamian people again and it would go unnoticed. Worst still, in his cowardice, Dr. Minnis and his administration sought to place the blame squarely on the dedicated customs officers who were blindsided by this new policy.
Mr. Prime Minister, why burden our hardworking front line customs officers in what appears to be your dirty work to fleece the Bahamian people with more taxes? And when caught redhanded, why mislead us with this tall tail about the need for additional training and customer education?
This from the same man who said that the imposition of taxes was the lazy way to improve government revenue performance.
The Bahamian people are not fools. They know Dr. Minnis fully intends to heap more taxes on them. They know Dr. Minnis cannot be trusted.
Further, Dr. Minnis and the FNM are uncaring and seemingly can’t get anything right.
From his first day in office four years ago, this Prime Minister has broken his promises about increasing taxes.
Far too many Bahamians are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. An additional and confusing tax is the last imposition our people need.
We warn Bahamians that Dr. Minnis and the FNM say this additional tax has been temporarily suspended. We have no doubt that this is an election campaign ploy and God forbid, if Dr. Minnis and the FNM are reelected, they will burden the Bahamian people with increased taxes.
Our nation cannot afford another five years of this scandalous tax hungry FNM government.
They must go.