|Ministers wrap up final session of House of Assembly|
|Thursday, 16 August 2012 07:41|
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Government will proceed with a referendum on the issue of a national lottery and/or ‘web cafes’ following the impending by-election in North Abaco. Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie made the announcement in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, August 15.
“As previously stated, the referendum will not extend to any other forms of gambling,” said Mr. Christie. “In particular, it will not extend to any question as to whether Bahamians should be permitted to engage in casino gaming.”
Minister of National Security, Hon. Bernard Nottage, said that the most important thing The Bahamas must do is protect its citizens. He said that the government will ‘beef up’ the Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s resources. To that end, the Minister said the government would spend approximately $119 million for four classes of Defence Force vessels, including 11 crafts.
“This Government recognises that the Royal Bahamas Defence Force plays the leading and key role as the first line of our border defense,” said Mr. Nottage. “Further, it has re-affirmed its determination to more effectively protect our borders against illegal immigration, drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal firearms and poaching.”Minister of State for Finance, Hon. Michael Halkitis said that the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of The Bahamas and the Clearing Banks Association and other authorised mortgage lenders have been working together to craft a mortgage relief plan that is effective and relevant. During his contribution, the Minister laid out the process that ‘eligible’ persons would have to undergo. Eligible persons must meet certain criteria including the fact that the property must be owner-occupied primary residence, including owner-occupied duplexes; mortgage date must be prior to January 1, 2009 and outstanding mortgage principal amount must not exceed $500,000. They must also have an acceptable credit history prior to June 30, 2008, have sufficient and documented income to support the restructured payments and the lender must have a valid first and possible second charge mortgage and the property must be clear of other mortgages, liens and encumbrances.
Parliamentarians also paid tribute to the late Hon. Charles Maynard, the former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture and Free National Movement Party Chairman who passed away on Tuesday, August 14 while campaigning in North Abaco.
Finally, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Daniel Johnson also paid homage to the Bahamian Olympic team, notably the 4 X 400 relay team that won the gold medal during the Olympic games held in London in August 2012.
Photo: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration the Hon. Fred Mitchell is pictured (centred) with the men's 4 x 400 metre Olympic gold medal winners outside the House of Assembly, August 15. Also pictured far right is Wellington Miller, president of the Bahamas Olympic Association. (BIS Photo / Patrick Hanna)
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