The Government named the 2020/21 Budget “Resilient Bahamas: A Plan for Restoration” to capture its mission to restore the Bahamian people and the Bahamian economy from the ravages of two unprecedented crises during the last fiscal year.
'Resilient Bahamas' aims to protect families, communities, and businesses, engendering well-being and confidence in citizens and residents
'Resilient Bahamas' aims to stabilize the weakened economy, maintaining and growing economic activity during the COVID-19 induced crisis and beyond.
'Resilient Bahamas' aims to plant the seeds for accelerated recovery, transforming the current crisis into an opportunity for the nation's future prosperity
Enhancing Public Health and Saftey
A public health system so dynamic and resilient it can respond to any crisis
The vulnerabilities exposed by COVID-19 have amplified the need to improve public health infrastructure and systems, and to enhance national resiliency. Deadly pandemics like COVID-19 present an existential threat to Bahamians. The global pandemic has claimed over 400,000 lives, and the public health risks for The Bahamas are not fully gone. With the the 'Resilient Bahamas' plan, the Government decided the public health sector was a spending priority that could not be ignored.
Expanding Social Support
A network so strong that no Bahamian is left hungry, or without shelter and care
The spike in unemployment across the world has left millions of people without their primary source of income. Since May, 55,000 Bahamians and residents had filed for unemployment with the National Insurance Board, representing over 30 per cent of our workforce. Even prior to the COVID-19 crisis, thousands of Bahamians were displaced by the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Dorian. Given the hardship created by these two external shocks, the Government made the decision to expand social support. The 'Resilient Bahamas' Plan ensures the social safety net is strong enough and wide enough to protect the wellbeing of each and every vulnerable Bahamian and resident.
Sustaining Employment Levels
A supported workforce reassured by the dignity of work
High levels of unemployment lead to unfortunate suffering and hardship for Bahamian families. The Government took the decision to support businesses in the private sector to help prevent additional layoffs that would add to the burden already created by COVID-19. Further, consumer activity is the bedrock of modern economies. Sustaining employment levels helps to ensure families, communities and businesses have the financial resources they need to be able to buy food and other essential items as well as pay their bills and support themselves. The overall economy is sustained by this type of consumer activity.
Strengthening the Domestic Economy
Poised and ready to jumpstart the new economy
With a complete shutdown of the tourism sector, the number one industry, and the necessary lockdown of other local sectors in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Bahamian economy needs the support only the Government can provide. To stabilize the domestic economy the Government has opted to invest in a mix of economic stimulus, loan and grant support for small businesses, new and expanded tax breaks, and energy reform. Along with these initiatives, the Government’s continued focus on making education accessible for all Bahamians ensures that our people and our economy are well-positioned for our future recovery.
Accelerating Government Reforms
Transforming to meet the needs of a modern Bahamas
At a time when the country needs to put its best foot forward, the Government has committed to accelerating its structural reforms to improve the ease of doing business and modernize all around. By accelerating its adoption of modern technologies, and facilitating private sector expansion and investment, the 'Resilient Bahamas' plan will support a more robust economic recovery overall, allowing the Government to improve its service delivery in the post-COVID19 new normal. The transformation of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) is a major component of the Government's planned reforms. Not only will this make SOEs more dynamic, efficient and self-sufficient, but it will also help the Government reduce the amount of money it allocates to subsidize these entities.
Full details on each ministry's specific set of programmes and activities to support the Governments 'Resilient Bahamas' priorities. We'll have updates from the contributons of each Cabinet Minister, during the Budget Debate. It starts on June 8, 2020, in the House of Assembly. Stay connected!
What does this look like in practice? A feeding program that can reach more people for a longer period of time. An unemployment assistance program that puts cash in the hands of more than 20,000 people, as a form of income replacement. In practice, it means supporting and growing more small businesses with grants and expanded investments, creating more jobs and securing more livelihoods."
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