Davis Administration Unveils 2024/2025 Budget: Changing The Status Quo, Changing Lives

Salary Increases, New Hospitals, and Energy Reforms Lead the Way

Nassau, The Bahamas – The Davis Administration is committed to “changing the status quo and changing lives” with a fiscal budget that includes allocations for salary increases for public servants, new hospitals in New Providence and Grand Bahama, and landmark reforms to address aging energy infrastructure.

“We didn’t come here to defend the status quo. We came here to change it because changing the status quo is the best way to change lives,” Prime Minister Davis told Parliament as he presented the 2024/2025 Budget Communication on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Davis emphasized the government’s prioritization of energy reform, vowing to replace the aged infrastructure with a modern and effective system utilizing advanced technologies.

“We need another $500 million in capital investments to rescue and then modernize our grid,” he said. “I look forward to showcasing plans for a new energy future for our country, including extensive use of solar power in New Providence and the Family Islands.”

Highlighting the government’s focus on improving Grand Bahama’s economic fortunes, Prime Minister Davis reiterated that his administration is determined to ensure that the management of Grand Bahama is established as a mutually beneficial arrangement.

“We are challenging the status quo in Grand Bahama, where the Port Authority has been earning profits at the public’s expense while failing to live up to their responsibility to develop Freeport,” Prime Minister Davis declared.

Noting promising economic gains in the fiscal year 2023/2024, the Prime Minister informed Parliament that the country’s performance between July 2023 and March 2024 reflected total revenue of $2.2 billion, an increase of $112.4 million or 5.4% compared to the previous fiscal year.

“The IMF now projects that the Bahamian economy will post real growth of 2.3% in 2024 as large tourist inflows fuel the economy and inflation continues to decline,” Prime Minister Davis explained. During the initial three months of 2024, the number of tourist arrivals reached 3 million, reflecting a 14.9% growth compared to the first three months of 2023.

The upcoming budget also includes customs duty reductions on certain categories of laundry detergents, camera parts, bed linen, compostable bags, and paper bags.

Funds have also been designated in the budget to conduct and implement public service salary increases for accountants, teachers, defense force officers, police officers, immigration officers, correctional officers, and customs officers, among others.

“We believe salaries are too low and that fair compensation is crucial for attracting and retaining the best employees,” Prime Minister Davis said.

Addressing the government’s sustained fight against crime, Prime Minister Davis outlined the allocation of funds to strengthen electronic monitoring capabilities and the CCTV network, expand the use of body cameras, increase the police vehicle fleet, and acquire new vessels for the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.