State-owned entities sucking the lifeblood out of the economy

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June 09, 2017

Dear Editor,

The privatization of Bahamasair and any other state-owned entity sucking the lifeblood out of the economy should be given top priority.
Bahamasair in its present form will never break even.
During the new budget cycle, the Bahamian taxpayer will be required to inject $15 million into the bankrupt airline just to keep it aloft for another year (more if it can't delay principal repayment on the loan for its new fleet).
The losses and public subsidies over the years have been staggering and have contributed heavily to the country's financial crisis.
To add insult to injury, a large number of jobs have been awarded based on political patronage instead of merit, and this has helped create a culture of slackness and political dependency and has killed personal initiative. Accordingly, our country has not developed as a result.
While there are many hard-working professionals in these corporations, it's no secret these entities have been used as political employment agencies as confirmed by a PLP Cabinet minister some years ago (the one who announced God gave this land to the PLP).
I hope the government is bold enough to divest the country of these heavy tax burdens, just as it got rid of the debt-laden hotels. (It will be remembered that the publicly funded Cable Beach Hotel was staffed from Sir Lynden's PLP register of job skills, even though Bahamians of all political persuasions were saddled with the debt. That, Mr. Roberts, is what you call victimization).
Perhaps any resulting job losses from a privatization exercise could be countered with relocation to help maintain public spaces and buildings in the various communities and on the island as a whole, improving both the quality of life for Bahamians and the tourist product, and instilling an appreciation for and pride in the environment. And maybe even awakening some entrepreneurial skills.
One thing's for sure, the present situation isn't sustainable.

- Athena Damianos

Click here to read more at The Nassau Guardian

News date : 06/09/2017    Category : Letters, Nassau Guardian Stories

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