September 15, 2017
The government has not yet had a formal discussion about implementing service fees for garbage collection on New Providence, but the idea is still on the table, said Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.
Turnquest announced in July, during a meeting of the "Rotary Club of West Nassau" at "The Poop Deck at Sandyport", that the government was considering the fee.
In a recent interview with The Nassau Guardian, Turnquest was asked for an update on the government's plans.
"We have not even had formal discussions about this at all," he said.
"But the idea of a service fee to cover the cost of garbage collection has been considered, because as you will well know, the landfill that has been running at a tremendous loss in cost to the government as well as the garbage collection system has been inefficient for the most part and costly.
"So, as one of the potential offsets to pay for an efficient, clean, well managed garbage collection and landfill proposal, that has been raised.
"But, again, there are no formal discussions around that either.
"It's just an idea that's been advanced."
Back in July Turnquest said, "We have to make some decision.
"I know you all in Nassau are not used to paying for the service, but in Grand Bahama we pay for it all the time.
"We have arguably the best sanitation service in the region.
"The cost of maintaining the landfill, of providing the service on the street, there is a cost attached to that for the Bahamian government.
"You have to pay for it one way or the other, either through taxes or through user fees.
"The reality is that the taxes that we have been collecting to date have not kept up with the cost of providing the service.
"We have no intention of raising taxes.
"So the first order of business for all of the utilities, all of these state-owned enterprises, is to do their own internal reviews and just as the government is cutting back on 10 percent and scrubbing each of its accounts to make sure that we get value for money, we expect them to do the same.
"Hopefully that will yield the kind of savings that we need."
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News date : 09/15/2017 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories