Davis: Minnis mismanaged handling of pandemic

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis accused Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis of mismanaging the COVID-19 crisis.

“It didn’t have to be this bad,” Mr Davis said during a virtual rally last night.

“A lot of the failure and misery we see around us is the result of bad policy choices, and the failure to plan ahead.

“That’s not my opinion, that’s just a fact – our country is at the bottom of regional and global rankings on COVID. The countries in our region who face the same challenges and obstacles that we face have done better – they have fewer cases and fewer deaths per capita.”

He said if elected, the PLP would give clinics and hospitals the resources they need.

“We’re going to have free and widespread testing – because we’ll never stop outbreaks without more testing,” he also said. “Free testing is going to be expensive but not nearly as expensive as failing in the fight against the virus, the way we are now.”

He said the PLP, if elected, will hold virtual town halls with medical professionals and will continue public health measures like masking and limiting the size of gatherings until the virus is under control.

He said this will be done with ordinary legislation, not Emergency Orders.

He repeated that the PLP will end the travel visa fees which he said are hurting Bahamian families and businesses.

He also said a government led by him will stabilise the country’s finances.

However he said this will be done not by asking the poor and middle class to pay more.

“Dozens of countries around the world have cut VAT over the last year, and we can, too. Reducing VAT to 10 percent will make things just a little easier, and make your money go a little further,” he said.

“Economists say it’s the right thing to do, and the smart thing to do, too, because it puts money into the local economy.

“Everyone knows our country needs to bring in more revenue – and we can do that by asking the wealthiest Bahamians to pay their fair share, and pay what they already owe.”

He said a government led by him would fast-track projects and investments needed to kickstart the economy and chart the nation out of the financial crisis.