In his New Year’s Address to the nation this evening, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, spoke to the great challenges but commendable progress made in 2014.

*“As we begin this new year, let’s join together to continue the building of The Bahamas into a safe, peaceful and prosperous society for the good and benefit of all. And let us pray that Almighty God will guide us as we pursue this mission.”*

The Prime Minister expressed great confidence for the economic future of the nation, noting, *”I am feeling really optimistic about our economic future – more so now than at any time since we came to power in May of 2012!”*

Touching specifically on tax reform and the introduction of VAT, Immigration, The Economy, and Crime, he focussed on the positives in the years ahead:

* VAT is going to expand the revenue base in a way that will enable the Government to better meet the social and infrastructural needs of the Bahamian people, now and well into the future.

* The entire well-being of The Bahamas will be irrevocably compromised unless we continue to stand firm on Immigration. My Government intends to do just that.

* In 2015, you can also expect to see major positive advances on the economic front. The prospects for economic diversification in 2015 are exceptionally promising as well. We are all geared up for positive economic growth in 2015.

* We will be implementing a series of innovative initiatives aimed at breaking the back of crime, especially violent crime, in our country.