DPM not concerned about poll results

The Nassau Guardian:  

An April 2018 Public Domain survey that shows a growing number of people feel the country is going in the wrong direction and points to the Minnis administration losing ground will not dissuade the government from its plans to strengthen the country’s economy and provide good governance to the Bahamian people, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest.

“There are a number of things that are going on in the local political scene that affects our ratings from any period from time to time,” said Turnquest at a press conference at the Ministry of Finance to announce an Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing conference set for September.

“You must bear in mind that this administration is what, 11 months in. It is unreasonable to expect that you can change the world in a day. It doesn’t happen that way.

“We have been very busy restoring the reputation of The Bahamas…trying to put our house in order, and we will see some of the effects of that as we move into the new fiscal year when we will have an opportunity to present our plan for the upcoming year, which will set the stage for the future.

“So, I am not concerned about some private ratings. Those are not the things that are going to drive what we do and why we do what we do. The fact of the matter is, we have a very viable and sustainable financial center, and we intend to promote good and best practices, and strengthen our promotion of the financial services sector.”

On Wednesday, Public Domain released its April 2018 poll data on satisfaction with the government’s performance and whether the country is going in the right or wrong direction.

The results of the poll show a steady decline, since May 2017, in public opinion on both satisfaction and right direction for the country.

Respondents’ general satisfaction with the Minnis administration stands at 44 percent.

The number of respondents who were generally “satisfied” with Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and the FNM administration in April decreased by nine percent since November 2017, for a total of an 18 percent decline since the May 2017 election.

According to the data, since the election, the number of respondents who believe the country is generally going in the “right direction” declined from 67 percent to 40 percent, while the number of respondents who believe the country is generally going in the “wrong direction” increased from 21 percent to 39 percent.

The number of respondents who believe the country is going “very much in the right direction” dropped from 25 percent in September 2017 to 12 percent in April 2018.

There have been similar reactions to the poll among senior FNMs.

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister argued that the government is working to make a number of positive changes to the country, but admitted that Bahamians will feel “a little pain” along the way.

Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said the government is performing “phenomenally” and noted that significant change will not occur overnight.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said the government should step back and look at the data, noting that he was disappointed with the loss of political capital.

He said it is an opportunity now to redouble efforts.