Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis.
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
DESPITE warnings from experts to brace for higher inflation rates, Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis insisted that his administration will not just sit idly by and allow the country “be swallowed up by inflation”.
Speaking to reporters after visiting several churches in commemoration of Fox Hill Day, Mr Davis vowed to do everything in his power to combat the issue so Bahamians can be able to cope during these difficult times.
He spoke after Super Value’s president Rupert Roberts told a local daily Monday that the supermarket chain will not be able to hold off on higher prices for much longer as a result of inflation.
Mr Roberts said this is because some of its imported food items that were bought at a lower price than what is being sold now are expected to run out in a few months.
This comes as financial experts warn Bahamians to expect to see higher US inflation rates, with the Central Bank’s governor recently saying the cost-of-living crisis facing many Bahamian families has yet “to peak”.
Yesterday, Mr Davis was asked about his administration’s plans to maintain the country’s economic stability given concerns about inflation.
He said while the government has little control over the issue, officials will do everything it can do bring relief to hurting Bahamians.
“There are a lot of matters that impact cost that’s out of control,” the prime minister told reporters yesterday.
“That which we could control, we are doing something about it. So, for example, we lowered import duties and Bahamians are already receiving some of the benefits of that. Rupert Roberts himself in his advertisements indicated how that has impacted the cost so we are continuing to look at initiatives that will bring relief to our people.
“We are not just going to sit idly by and be swallowed up by inflation. We’re going to be fighting it and doing what we can to ensure that it does not cause further harm to our people.
Last week, Prime Minister Davis revealed that the government was considering reducing fuel taxes for gas retailers with a view to bringing relief to both retailers and consumers.
He told reporters yesterday that a decision on the matter will be made soon, adding “we’re working on it now.”
In his budget communication in May, Prime Minister Davis announced a series of relief measures aimed to assist Bahamians struggling with the inflationary high cost of living.
The proposed measures included increased social assistance, targeted minimum wage increases for workers in the public sector, duty reductions on certain food items among other things.