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Bahamas' VAT system – Triumphs and Pitfall (Part II)
Submitted by DP&A   
Thursday, 25 September 2014 10:36

By John S. Bain Managing Partner at UHY, Bain & Associates in The Bahamas and member of UHY International


Likely problems in the short, medium and long-terms

All tax to a greater or lesser extent relies on the voluntary cooperation of the population. UHY’s experience with the tax regimes in many jurisdictions around the world indicates that there are some well-trodden paths in the short, medium, and long-term when different problems will be apparent at different stages of the implementation.  These problems can be circumvented, or mitigated, to at least some extent, by forewarning, education, and pre-planning.

In the short-term, probably within the first six months after introduction, the government can expect mistakes and errors by businesses in their accounting procedures and VAT declarations.  The declaration of wrong amounts of VAT and the omission of transactions, whether inadvertently or otherwise is a probability.  Businesses will need to organise their cash flows with far greater control than previously in order to retain the VAT cash until it is due to be paid over.

Unexpectedly, this burden will fall more heavily on smaller businesses filing quarterly or semi-annual VAT returns, since they will have to manage their cash flow for possibly several months before the net VAT is payable to the government.  Larger business are not only likely to already have a degree of cash flow and accounting management already in place, but are required to file monthly VAT returns thus lessening the cash flow problem.

Statement to the press by Dr. Andre Rollins, M.P.
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 25 September 2014 06:42

I want to make it absolutely clear that nowhere in my interview with NB 12 did I impute corrupt motives to anyone. I never suggested that I had any information to that effect. In no way do I support or condone corruption in government. Without being comprehensive in my response to the question asked by Ms. Toote, I can understand how I may have created this impression. I certainly regret that such an impression was created.

In giving my terse response, I was referring to the principles of ministerial and collective responsibility as defined by the Westminster system of government and in that regard, I sought to convey that any shortcomings or failings with respect to the LOI matter cannot be levelled solely at the feet of a junior member of the government. To do so would be to make that individual a scapegoat, which would demonstrate a clear lack of respect for that individual and the system of government we are supposed to be guided by. The implications for the minister and cabinet, therefore, are what I was alluding to when I said that there is more than meets the eye with respect to this matter.

Having this LOI matter linger for as long as it has without a conclusive statement from our nation’s leader has only served to feed the perception that our government lacks transparency and accountability, which is not in the interests of our nation’s growth and development. Therefore, as I have said previously, the nation would be well served by having the Prime Minister address this matter.

Statement by Keod Smith (CNHF) - Oil Spill at Adelaide
Submitted by Keod Smith   
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 08:27
Since its inception in April 2013, the Clifton National Heritage Foundation (CNHF) has been keenly concerned about the 30-plus years of pollution caused by oil spills and seepage in the seas off of Clifton Pier and the adjoining Bay of Clifton.

Last week’s reports in the newspapers of the discovery of oil washing up on the beaches of Adelaide gives us cause to take the immediate and public action which we now pronounce, without which this vexing problem will continue to linger to our collective detriment.

Not only does this recent discovery illustrate the continuing threat to the immediate land and sea environs, it potentially has significant negative impact to the entire southern coast of Adelaide, the Bay of Clifton as well as the Clifton Heritage National Park which, in 2004, had been vested upon statutory trust for the benefit of the Bahamian people.

To-date, with there not having been any confirmed solution, scientific study or determination as to the nature and origin of these oil spills, we wish to commend Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin and her Officials at the Ministry of Transport and Aviation for the quick and decisive action in responding to the alarm of the oil spill on Adelaide beach. We urge the Government to continue to meet with all of the stakeholders to determine a balanced and workable Environmental Management Plan for the southwestern region of the Island.

When considering the seriousness of this problem, the CNHF undertakes to assist and provide in the facilitation of more scientific studies of the area to determine the impact of these oil spills to the Clifton Heritage National Park, its potential as a touristic destination and becoming a world heritage site.
Ministry of Health statement on unknown patient admitted to hospital
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Monday, 22 September 2014 07:55
During the late evening of Sunday 14th September, 2014 a medically distressed gentleman was rescued at sea, from a freighter by the United States Coast Guard, via helicopter,  to New Providence where he was admitted to Doctors Hospital.

Upon admission to hospital the patient was assessed and evaluated as being gravely ill, confused, restless, unable to communicate coherently and with abnormal low vital signs. He was managed as an infectious disease case, ensuring universal precautions and protocols. These precautions were utilized for ALL healthcare personnel as well as the patient.  The medical team evaluation was that the patient’s condition was grave with a guarded prognosis. The patient was quarantined and managed with "Septic Shock" in an isolation room throughout the duration of the care given. Early tests were positive for Malaria which became the working diagnosis while further investigations were performed. Confirmatory tests were done at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States of America to establish the presence of any other infectious diseases; including Ebola Virus Disease. All tests done were NEGATIVE.

The patient unfortunately died on Tuesday 16th September at 7:56 pm despite the gallant efforts of the healthcare team to resuscitate this extremely ill gentleman, it is regrettable that during the course of the day following his demise (Wednesday September 17th, 2014) that irresponsible rumors were circulated in the social media stating that the cause of his death was due to the Ebola Virus, which is confirmed as FALSE.

It is regrettable that during the course of the day following this gentleman's demise (Wednesday September 17th, 2014) that irresponsible rumours were circulated in the social media stating that the cause of his death was due to the Ebola Virus, which is FALSE.

I, in my capacity as Minister of Health, along with the Public Health team within the Ministry of Health, wish to express my profound gratitude to all of the healthcare personnel and other individuals who demonstrated the highest degree of professionalism in the conduct and the management of this sensitive case while in the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. I take this opportunity to reassure the Public that the Ministry of Health and the Department of Public Health along with the Private Sector and international health partners , such as Pan American Organization, World Health Organization, CDC and Caribbean Regional bodies as a part of our compliance with International Health Regulations, are continuously ensuring comprehensive surveillance strategies are in place for the public’s safety.
Open letter by Fred Mitchell MP to the women’s branch of the PLP on the constitutional amendments
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Monday, 22 September 2014 07:49
Open Letter By Fred Mitchell MP
The Women’s Branch of the PLP

Dear Madam Chair,

I would be most grateful if you would share this letter with your members.

I believe it is time for the women of the PLP to seize the day with regard to the current fight for women’s equality in The Bahamas.  The four bills now before the Parliament that seek to amend the constitution of The Bahamas are I hope soon to become law and then they are to be referred to the people of The Bahamas for their approval.  The PLP and more importantly for this purpose PLP women should seize the initiative to ensure that these bills pass and are approved by our fellow citizens.

I know that the PLP Women’s Branch will be amongst its leading proponents.  It is my hope that this letter encourages more women to get involved.

I wish to pay tribute to the exemplary leadership on this issue of Glenys Hanna Martin, Melanie Griffin, Hope Strachan, Cheryl Bazard and Allyson Maynard Gibson, all of whom represent us in the Parliament.  They have been steadfast in their defence of the effort toward equality for women. As a man, I believe it is important to state clearly my support for their cause.
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