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Bahamas: Former Finance Minister slams housing plan as “inherently discriminatory”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A former Cabinet minister yesterday described the Access to Affordable Homes (Amendment) Bill, 2021 as “inherently discriminatory,” arguing that it goes against the principle of fairness and equal treatment under the law.

“I get the laudable intent but in my mind, this Bill goes against the principle of fairness and equal treatment under the law and invites a court challenge,” said East End Grand Bahama MP K Peter Turnquest while delivering his contribution to the 2021/2022 budget.

Turnquest described the Bill as “extremely worrisome,” stating that it is “inherently discriminatory on many fronts, though well-intentioned.”

“Every citizen of the Bahamas is an equal taxpayer and has an inalienable right to enjoy equal benefits provided by the state,” he continued.

“This Bill however seeks to carve out benefit for a specific group to the ultimate exclusion of other groups equally as disenfranchised when it comes to the affordability of land and construction.

Leaving the fact that the Bill is Nassau centric in its design, and Killarney specific interestingly enough, the Bill proposes to use taxpayer money to grant a concession to one group over another.”

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