Thursday, March 12, 2020

'Painful Cuts' Best Fiscal Response To Virus Pandemic

Sir Franklyn Wilson

By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

The government may have no choice but to respond to the coronavirus pandemic with "painful spending cuts" due to its lack of fiscal "headroom", a prominent businessman warned yesterday.

Sir Franklyn Wilson, pictured, the Arawak Homes and Sunshine Holdings chairman, told Tribune Business that the Minnis administration needed to "look carefully" at which programmes can be slashed given that room for further borrowing was already limited by Hurricane Dorian's massive reconstruction bill.

Pointing out that the 2020 hurricane season is just months away, Sir Franklyn said The Bahamas could not afford to use all its remaining fiscal ammunition on the Covid-19 battle given the risk that another Dorian-type storm may strike the archipelago.

He revealed that all the businesses in which he is invested, such as Arawak Homes and RoyalStar Assurance, are currently engaged in coronavirus-related resiliency and continuity planning to ensure they will still be able to function should "pivotal" staff members become infected and have to become quarantined at home.  Read more >>