NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Opposition leader Michael Pintard yesterday accused Prime Minister Philip Davis of ‘misleading’ Parliament over claims he made last week regarding a company he said has held on to more than $6 million in government revenue.
During his contribution to the mid-year budget debate last week, Davis said that the company in question had held on to some $6.4 million in Immigration fees which it should have turned over to the government.
Davis also asserted that the company was not licensed to collect revenue or engage in the provision of financial services.
During his mid-year budget contribution yesterday, Pintard pushed back against the prime minister’s statements, accusing Davis of misleading Parliament and being disingenuous in his remarks.
“The company was in fact licensed by Central Bank contrary to the assertion of the Prime Minister who through their black ops already put out the name,” said Pintard.
“What they did is they sought to mislead the country into believing that the Free National Movement administration had a company collecting money that was not licensed to do so. He also contended that it was the only service provider. The facts are there are at least three other service providers that are well known in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas but the Prime Minister refused to indicate who the service providers are. That’s the second point the Prime Minister misled the country on,” said Pintard.
Pintard also argued that Davis had given the impression that the sum the company held, which belonged to the government was accumulated under the Minnis administration and urged the government to present to Parliament the documentation to show when the sum had been accumulated.
In response to Pintard’s remarks, Davis said: “I not going to go down the road of the member. I never called the company’s name. I hold no brief for them. If he holds a brief for them perhaps he can help us get our money back. I stand by what I said about the company that collected the money. If they collected the money tell them to give us our money.”
Pintard replied: “We hold no brief for the company. If a company is holding government money the government has an obligation to go and get the money but it is wrong to assert that the arrears were accumulated under the FNM when it was accumulated under the PLP in 2022.”
During his wrap-up to the mid-year budget debate, Davis told Parliament that the company in question was not licensed by the Securities Commission or the Central Bank to conduct the activities for which it had been hired and had been incorporated on January 18th, 2018.
Pintard also accused the Davis administration of not being focused on growing the economy.
For the first six months of the fiscal year, Value-Added Tax revenue totaled $598.8 million and grew by $54.2 million compared to the prior year.
Pintard however suggested that some $200 million of the sum was a result of inflation. Pintard also accused the Davis administration of having not demonstrated a commitment to the development of the small business sector.
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