NASSAU GUARDIAN – The Free National Movement (FNM) last night unveiled Manifesto 2012, pledging among other things to introduce a National Catastrophic Health Insurance Programme within three years, increase the strength of the police force to fight crime and create an ‘opportunity society’, which includes the implementation of a “recovery and growth agenda”.
Download 2012 FNM Manifesto (70 MB)
Manifesto 2012, released on the party’s website, fnm2012.org, also focuses on job creation, social development and reducing the public debt.
Ingraham pledged that an FNM administration will continue to build an “opportunity and shareholding society”.
He said that in consultation with Bahamians, his administration would launch Jubilee Bahamas, a 10-year national plan leading to the 50th anniversary of independence.
The prime minister said a key part of this would be the recovery and growth agenda that focuses on jobs and wealth creation, small businesses, and support to entrepreneurs through innovative grants and incentives.
If re-elected, the FNM pledges to expand the Prescription Drug Programme to cover all workers and their families; extend the maximum period for National Insurance Unemployment benefits from 13 weeks to 26 weeks; institutionalize the National Training and Retraining Programme to build human resource capacity, and provide career development opportunities for Bahamians.
The party also said it would continue to expedite the naturalization and/or registration of children born abroad to Bahamian women married to non-Bahamians; continue the regularization of the status of long-term residents and of persons born and raised in The Bahamas to non-Bahamian parents, and ensure that work permits are issued only to fill posts that cannot be genuinely filled by suitably qualified Bahamians.
It also pledges to accelerate taxation system reforms to reduce dependence on border taxes and broaden the tax base; establish a Consumer Protection Agency; continue to make Crown lands available to Bahamians at concessional rates and maximize opportunities for Bahamians to become shareholders in profitable businesses, particularly those resulting from the privatization of previously wholly government-owned enterprises.
The plan outlined in the FNM manifesto will help to lift Grand Bahama out of its depressed state, by introducing new opportunities for commercial expansion and improving infrastructure, the party said in a statement, which was also released last night.