Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Peter Turnquest has defended his government’s decision not to slash the salaries of parliamentarians as a cost saving measure as the country grapples with its dire financial strait.
Addressing reporters during a post-budget press briefing, Mr. Turnquest said the savings would be “insignificant in terms of the challenge faced.”
“If we were to look at the public service and try to implement a pay cut, we believe that would have had a very negative effect on the overall recovery of the economy as it would reduce the disposable income of workers and thus they would have less to spend,” he added.
“It would be a downing effect on the economy and so it just didn’t work out in terms of numbers.”
Mr. Turnquest said they have a much better opportunity stipulating the economy, driving consumption.
“As a result, we’re putting more opportunity into the economy for persons to take advantage of – entrepreneurial opportunities that will arise as well as to spur economic activity that will lead to job creation,” he said.
At last count, some 30,000 Bahamians had received unemployment assistance from the National Insurance Board (NIB).