PLP supporters at a mass rally before the May 2, 2007 general elections. (file photo)

Nassau, Bahamas – Members of the Progressive Liberal Party responded to Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham’s national address on Monday.

The opposition PLP argued that any the movement of the port facilities from the downtown area to Arawak Caty would present a conflict of interest to a member of the Ingraham’s Cabinet.

Calling the address a ‘recitation of political spin and disinformation’, the PLP also noted that crime is out of control in the country with the nation now horrified, whilst the Ingraham government simply has, ‘no plan, no vision and no new ideas.’ the statement read.

News Release
From the PLP Rapid Response Team
For Immediate Release
14th January, 2008
Arawak Cay Port is Conflict of Interest for Symonette

The Bahamian people are right to be sorely disappointed in the sorry performance of Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham in his national address last evening, which showed that he and his government have no plan, no vision and no new ideas.
Mr. Ingraham insulted Bahamians with his recitation of political spin and disinformation in the face of the serious national problems of crime and unemployment.

Crime continues unabated and all Mr. Ingraham can do is helplessly describe what we all know already: that crime is out of control and that the nation is horrified. No plan, no vision and no new ideas.
What Mr. Ingraham and the Free National Movement have done is to sabotage the PLP’s programmes of medium to long term social intervention which had been working against crime such as Urban Renewal, the National Youth Service and other similar programmes.

While he moans about unemployment, Mr. Ingraham should own up to the fact that the FNM is directly responsible for the unemployment in the country by stopping projects that had been approved and breaking firm commitments made under the PLP. The FNM government have still not formally stopped the contract for the new downtown straw market. This means that they are adding up costs to the Bahamian people while no project is going ahead and straw vendors are still suffering. No plan, no vision and no new ideas.

The supposedly ‘decisive’ Hubert Ingraham and his FNM government cannot make a decision on the Bahamar Cable Beach project or on the Albany project in southwest New Providence, both of which are key to ongoing employment and the growth of the economy. A recent address by the President of the Chamber of Commerce notes that 70 percent of the building contractors are out of work. People who worked on Paradise Island’s Phase III are now unemployed and those who hoped to get employment from Bahamar and Albany are now competing with them. No plan, no vision and no new ideas.

The PLP PLANNED expansion meant that projects came on line in a way that enabled NEW jobs to be created. The FNM’s policy of stop, review and cancel has led to NO NEW JOBS BEING CREATED.

To add insult to his bankrupt and uninspiring message to Bahamian last night, Mr. Ingraham must be condemned for sanctioning the movement of the shipping port to Arawak Cay, a decision taken at a meeting chaired by Brent Symonette in an obvious conflict of interest position.

The FNM just doesn’t get it. It is wrong to preside over matters of self interest. It was wrong when Brent Symonette was caught doing it at the airport during the first Ingraham administration and it is wrong now at Arawak Cay and with the redevelopment of downtown Nassau. The FNM is slavishly serving the special interests who funded its campaign and ignoring the formal recommendations of the business community.