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Claim #1

The PLP attacks the FNM for borrowing money for infrastructure projects and alleges that this spending hasnt created jobs for Bahamians because of the use of foreign contractors.

The Truth
The PLP attacks on borrowing ring hollow. With the sole exception of the loan to facilitate the extension of improved water quality to Eastern New Providence, the PLP voted in support of every resolution authorizing the Government to borrow money internationally for infrastructure works. The notion that infrastructure projects havent created jobs for Bahamians is pure PLP fantasy. The number of Bahamians working on road projects has been maximized with more than 500 on staff of JCCC the Argentine Company contracted to carry out the NPR&UI project because the full expertise required was not available locally. Works being carried out along Eastern Road, along downtown Bay Street from Navy Lyon to Mackey Street, the new road linking new West Bay Street to JFK Drive and all the road works connected to the new stadium are all being undertaken by Bahamian companies with Bahamian staff and workers. On the Baha Mar project, the PM negotiated the doubling of the value of work contracted to Bahamian companies from $400 million. The newspaper recently advised that local contracts on that site already top $110 million.

Claim #2
The PLP attacks the FNM over the New Providence Road Improvement Project citing cost overruns. They allege this project has resulted in business closures as well as lost jobs and the Government refused to offer help or support to affected businesses.

The Truth
This is more of the same double talk. This matter was responded to at great length in parliament in a communication by the PM and by response to questions put to the Minister of Public Works. That inconvenience is an inherent part of undertaking infrastructure improvements is undeniable. It is just a realitysomething with which the PLP seems to be unfamiliar. We are improving infrastructure that will help businesses grow, including those experiencing the most inconvenience. But in order for these businesses to be located on clean, well appointed and lighted roads, to receive good water pressure and reliable electricity and telephone service outdated or obsolete infrastructure must be replaced. . The allegation that no assistance was offered is blatantly false. In two Budget cycles small and medium size businesses have had Business License Fees waived and a detailed effort to compensate those who were adversely affected is being implemented.

Claim #3
The FNM was slow to respond to recession waiting to roll out programmes until the election.

The Truth
The first skills training programme was rolled out by Department of Labour in 2008 when the first wave of workers were laid off in the tourism sector. Further, the government increased social assistance, dramatically increasing budgetary support for food, school lunch programs, utilities support, rent and food stamps beginning in the 2008/09 Budget. In addition to social assistance, the government has launched numerous job training programs and has provided assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs. All of these programs have been in place for long periods of time, and in many cases years.

Claim #4
The PLP attacks the FNM for conditions in Grand Bahama.

The Truth
This is more PLP hypocrisy. The neglect of Grand Bahama by the PLP is self-evident. Grand Bahama was a thriving economy in May 2002. Freeport, under the FNM, had finally become the world-class, transshipment Port envisioned by its founders; a new industry of major ship repair had been introduced and the oil storage business was thriving. Moreover, tourism was receiving new infusion of capital at Our Lucaya and the Royal Oasis had just come into new ownership by a company which was represented by a senior PLP. The new PLP government in 2002 was only too pleased to go full force to Freeport for the official opening of the Royal Oasis, however, when the hotel was seriously damaged by two hurricanes in 2004 and again in 2005 the PLP were nowhere to be found. When the two devastating hurricanes ravaged Grand Bahama island in 2004 and 2005 the PLP government stood by as if helpless to do anything about its recovery plenty talk and promise but no action. Since returning to office the FNM has stood firmly by Grand Bahama and Freeport:

Subsidized the Isle of Capri and Treasure Cay Casinos saving 240 jobs Provided $10.5 million in subsidies to: Treasure Bay Casino at Our Lucaya Hutchison Lucaya Ltd., and Provided direct marketing support of air lift to US Airways and of cruise arrivals to Bahama Celebrations, NCL and Carnival Cruise Lines

As regards support for GBs economy, the FNM has:

Facilitated the entry of Ross University

Facilitated investment by Statoil and Buckeye in Grand Bahamas oil storage and transshipment sector

Constructed a $19 million new government administrative office complex Created employment opportunities for 1200 individuals in the National Skills Training and Job Readiness Programme and through the SelfStarter and Jump Start Initiatives.

The FNM is still improving the lives of Grand Bahamians:

Constructing the new Sister Mary Patricia Russell Jr. High School Constructing new A&E unit and a new suite of operating theatres at the Rand Memorial Hospital

Claim #5
The PLP accuses the FNM Government of raising taxes.

The Truth
This accusation is an outright falsehood. No government can meet or outpace the FNMs record of reduction in Customs Duty on imports from foods, household appliances, school supplies, computers and related hard and software, energy efficient appliances, building materials and tourism duty free items. Similarly, no other Government can come close to what has been done by the FNM in removing import duty on baby foods, baby clothing, medicine, goods required for the aged, ill and infirmed and fresh fruit and vegetables. Just look at the record beginning in 1992 and ending in 2001 and beginning again in 2007 and continuing up to the last Budget in 2011. Facts are stubborn things.

Claim #6:
The PLP attacks the FNM for delaying or canceling contracts put into place by the PLP before leaving office.

The Truth:
Balderdash. This has been responded to repeatedly in parliament. PLP operatives fed foolishness to S&P who then found it difficult to retract their statement. No project reviewed or cancelled by the FNM had anything to do with Foreign Direct Investment. All were related to unfunded contracts signed by the PLP in the closing weeks of their single term in office. As for Financial Services, it was the FNM that rescued the sector from international attack in 2000 and it was the FNM that had to come back to office to rescue it again in 2007. During five years in office (2002-2007) the PLP failed to conclude a single TIEA which had become the standard required by the International Financial Agencies beginning in 2001 that is why the FNM concluded the first TIEA with the USA before it demitted office in 2002. Since returning in 2007, we have concluded more than 24 new TIEAs.

Claim #7
The FNM has failed to fight crime.

The Truth
The Wikileaks telegrams tell the tale. The concerns of the US about levels of crime in The Bahamas date from 2006 when members of the PLP Government were in panic mode because of a threatened alert to US citizens about crime in The Bahamas. The PLP always address the cosmetic but the FNM do the heavy lifting. Thats why every effort to enact stronger anti-crime legislation since 1992 has been authored by the FNM. Right up to the most recent debate on tough crime legislation, the PLP typically bring the position of defending those accused of crime but not the victims of crime. In fact, Brave Davis was seeking to soften the laws so that his clientele would not be adversely affected. The PLP left vacancies on the Court Bench and they did nothing to expand the size of the courts. They have no record on which to stand. In this term alone the FNM has:

Recruited 434 new constables to walk the beat in neighbourhoods and begin the rebalancing of the make-up of the Police Force

Enacted a new Police Force Act in 2009 Caused additional appointment of Magistrates, Supreme Court Justices and Court of Appeal Judges to facilitate speedier trials

Caused the appointment of two full-time Supreme Court Justices in Freeport, Grand Bahama

Caused the appointment of resident Magistrates in Abaco, Exuma and Eleuthera Set up Witness Care Units

Improved criminal case management

Increased the number of criminal courtrooms in the Supreme Court from two to five, of which:

two courts are dedicated to cases predating 2010 one court is dedicated to retrials two courts are dedicated to current cases, i.e. 2010 onward Completed and opened the new Magistrates Court Building on South Street Established a Remand Court at Fox Hill with video-conferencing facilities, eliminating the need to bring remanded prisoners downtown every day

Established a Gun Court Established a second Coroners Court Purchased and undertaken refurbishment of the former Ansbacher Bank Building, converting it into the new Judicial Complex:

Two new courts on the ground floor of the Judicial Complex have been renovated and became operational in January, 2012.

Renovations to upper floors to establish five new courts have already started and will be completed this year

Amended and/or enacted 11 pieces of anti-crime legislation to strengthen criminal law, including:

The FNM is still improving our national security:

Investing in new equipment, technology and crime fighting tools, including two fully equipped mobile police centres

Acquiring a new Cessna Caravan aircraft for the police Introducing electronic monitoring of suspects and convicted felons Setting up Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) monitoring in areas of New Providence with high crime rates

Restriction of bail for rape, murder, armed robbery, gun possession, recidivist offenders, supply of illicit drugs, sexual abuse of minors, and threats to witness cases

Removal of the authority of magistrates to grant bail in murder, rape, armed robbery, gun and possession of drugs with intent to supply cases

Imposing mandatory minimum sentences of 4 years upon conviction for drug and gun related crimes (5 years where the crime is committed in a schools proximity)

Detention years for firearms and drug convictions are now measured as full calendar years (as opposed to 8 months); a life sentence in prison is now the natural life of a felon convicted for first degree murder. It is now 30 to 60 calendar years for other murder convictions

Establishment of a Gun Court Permitting evidence to be taken via video recording of testimony by witnesses Reducing the number of jurors from 12 to 9 members, except for murder cases Promulgation of Witness Protection legislation to provide anonymity for certain witnesses

Regulation of pawn brokers and second hand dealers, including scrap metal and cash-forgold dealers

The PLP can not hope to match this record of substantive action to address crime. Further, additional work was done on the social front to combat the causes of crime poverty alleviation and of course the recent launch of Volunteer Bahamas

Claim #8
Under the FNM it has become more difficult to do business in The Bahamas.

The Truth
The launch of the government e-portal; the enactment of a new Business License Act and the 6 pilot initiatives to address improved customer service in the public sector demonstrates that the FNM takes action and does not engage in useless, ineffective talk.

Claim #9
The PLP claims that the FNMs policies have hurt homeowners and damaged the Bahamian economy.

The Truth
The truth is that the PLP did nothing to help homeowners during their time in office. Now they are presenting a pie in the sky plan that is nothing more than fantasy and will not help homeowners. It will actually hurt homeowners but they hope it will help their political fortunes. The FNM has worked aggressively to not only help people stay in their homes but to also increase homeownership in the Bahamas by doing the following:

Built 700 new houses Launched a $75 million Government initiated housing programme to assist Bahamians with homeownership

Decreased taxes on first time homeowners by raising the exemption to $500,000 Reduced the down payment required for those applying for low income government houses. Unlike the PLP, our plan to address foreclosures is realistic and will actually help homeowners keep their houses

Claim #10
The PLP asserts that the FNM has failed to protect the Bahamian fishing industry from foreign poachers.

The Truth
Rather than put Bahamians first, they put themselves first. The PLP not only failed to combat poachers, they were also caught illegally selling licenses to Korean boat owners.

The FNM has aggressively fought against poaching in these ways:

Increased the Defence force fleet with 10 new craft. Added two new aircraft and built a new Defence Force base at Ragged Island. Recruited 343 Marines Increased surveillance with an expanded presence in Grand Bahama, Abaco, Inagua, and Ragged Island

The FNM are always in contact with Bahamian fishermen whether in Abaco, Eleuthera (Spanish Wells) or Long Island, the three largest centres of commercial fishing in the Family Islands and in New Providence, so that FNM policies on fisheries and on marine conservation are always informed by the views of Bahamian fishermen. The truth is that this is just more hypocritical rhetoric from a desperate party.

The Claim #11

The PLP continues to blindly perpetuate the myth that the FNM cancelled Urban Renewal.

The Truth:
The PLP continues to ignore the facts and put forth outright falsehoods. The simple truth is that Urban Renewal was never cancelled. In fact, the FNMs plan is going beyond urban renewal to urban transformation and redevelopment. It is the most comprehensive plan in the countrys history. Far from cancelling Urban Renewal, the FNM invests $2 million annually in this programme. We also employ 70 people between nine Urban Renewal centres and an administrative Headquarters in Nassau and seven Urban Renewal centres and an administrative Headquarters Grand Bahama. This is far more than the PLP has ever done. The FNM also delivered one million dollars in grants to assist a number of urban outreach and youth programmes in New Providence, Grand Bahama and on various family islands that focus on violence prevention and encouraging young people to be productive citizens. Real urban redevelopment requires social initiatives and economic development. Thats why we have implemented infrastructural renewal to improve access to reliable public utilities, good roads with proper drainage, safe water supply and reliable electricity and telephone services. Then we put in place incentives to encourage and support the private sector to join our renewal initiatives. The FNM has strong leadership and our plan is a big and bold vision. It will be one of the biggest urban development and economic empowerment projects Over-the-Hill since independence. The PLP still does not have a real leader or a real vision for The Bahamas, so they are attempting to mislead the public with false attacks and empty promises in their quest for power.

PLP Is Posterless and Leaderless

The Claim:
The PLP and their allies have been airing radio ads attacking the FNM for running without a deputy prime minister.

The Truth:
While the FNM has put forth a strong, diverse group of candidates from which a deputy prime minister will be chosen, the PLP is a party in need of a Leader. From The Punch, April 16, 2012:

Perry In Rage As PLP Bans His Leader Posters.

Deputy Leader Brave Davis and PLP war-room strategy chief Senator Maynard felt that it was in the best interests of the party to display only photos of the candidates on the street lampoles of constituencies and keep Christies feeble face hidden out of sight and out of mind. Senior PLPs reportedly felt that displaying Christies photo nation-wide would hurt rather than help the PLPs election campaign. They reasoned that Christies reputation as a weak and indecisive leader was damaging to the PLPs image. Isnt it ironic: Christie sent PLP chief graphic artist to Miami with orders to get posters of Christie printedand was told it was too late to produce the posters.

Christie feels the no poster strategy will cause the PLP be viewed as Leaderless, Chiefless and set to remain Powerless as the party appears to be unfit to govern. Meanwhile the streets of all 38 seats are painted red with posters of FNM Leader Ingraham. The PM said: If the PLP ever get around to putting up posters of Perry the words on them should be: PLP: UNPROVEN LEADERSHIP. They are fighting over power amongst themselves not because they believe in the Bahamas, but because they believe in their own interests. If Christie cant even run his own party, how can he run the country?