A recent headline in the Nassau Guardian stated that the prime minister of the Bahamas advised the Bahamian people that no official report was prepared by the UK consultants who recently braced our shores. He said that the media could question the consultants as to their findings about gambling in the Bahamas.
Let me be first to say that this is utter nonsense and a disrespect to Bahamians far and near. How can the prime minister, who is also the Minister of Finance expect us to swallow the notion these consultants who flew in from half way across the world on our tax payers dollars were not made to prepare an official report?
Last month, the prime minister mysteriously said that he was reviewing the consultant’s report but now he is saying that he has a ‘few pages of advice” from the consultants.
If there is no report on this issue as the prime minister has most recently said, then I charge him and the government with dereliction of duty at the highest order. Receiving a report for services rendered is such a basic expectation that even a “cave man” would expect it.
This is certainly not the way that this issue should have been handled. I think that the consultants coming to the Bahamas was just a farce and the prime minister now seems to have had a predisposition on the gambling issue.
Some may ask why the government members in parliament aren’t publicly voicing their concerns. Have they now fallen in line and are turning a blind eye to the injustices that Bahamians face as previous government members have done? I guess the hefty salaries and privileges have finally succeeded in giving our current members of parliament and high ranking government officials blurred vision.
Bahamians are more confused than ever about gambling in the country and the government of the day should not be creating confusion among its citizenry. We need clear and concise information so that we can make informed decisions.
I think this matter has been poorly handled to date and I call on the prime minister to postpone the referendum and effectively deal with the whole issue of gambling in the country. He should also cause an official report to be produced as to the consultants’ findings so that this can be tabled in parliament and be scrutinized by the Bahamian people.