September 20, 2021
PRIME Minister Philip "Brave" Davis said a recent downgrade by international rating agency Moody's was not surprising, as he suggested the former administration did not want the development to go public ahead of last week's election.
Moody’s further downgraded The Bahamas’ sovereign credit worthiness on Friday, the day after thousands of Bahamians turned out to the polls and elected the Progressive Liberal Party to steer the country for the next five years.
Asked about it on Saturday after he was presented his instruments of appointment, Mr Davis said the writing was on the wall.
“Well, that’s not surprising,” he told reporters. “If anyone has been following the fiscal affairs of this country, they’d know that for quite a while we’ve been heading over a fiscal cliff.
“In fact, I recall stating that in the 2019 budget even before (Hurricane) Dorian that that’s where we’re headed and so this is not surprising.
“…We suspect that information was had and was in the making for quite a while but was only released (after) Election Day so as not, I think, to impact the results. It didn’t.”
He was also asked how soon Bahamians could see his party’s election promise to reduce value added tax to 10 percent from the current 12 percent rate.
“As soon as we get in and I decide on our minister of finance and what we’ll do with that, we will very shortly make an announcement on that in the coming weeks,” Mr Davis said.
Moody’s, in slashing the country’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings to ‘Ba3’ from ‘Ba2’, warned that the devastation inflicted by COVID-19 and Hurricane Dorian will have “lasting consequences” for the Bahamian economy with stopover arrivals only returning to pre-pandemic numbers in 2024.
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