Riley’s Swag lacks street cred

  • The 35th America’s Cup (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    The 35th America’s Cup (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)


Cordell Riley recently questioned in a newspaper article the accuracy of the revenue generated by the 2017 America’s Cup, and his comments were not rebutted.

He compiled a “back of the napkin” estimate, which is nothing but a Swag.

It is clear that Mr Riley’s estimate of the value of AC35 is based solely on his general impressions, and that if he took the time to really investigate the benefits, his conclusion would not be the Swag that he has presented.

Just what is a Swag, you ask?

“The Swag [scientific wild-a** guess] is an educated guess, but is not regarded as the best or most accurate estimate. A Swag is not computed or proven rigorously, but the proponent asserts his or her own judgment suffices to rationalise the estimate; and it may, in time, be viable to produce a rigorous forecast of increased precision.”Wikipedia

Mr Riley stated in his comments that a key issue to consider was contribution to the economy. He is absolutely right — how the economy is affected by any undertaking is key. And the truth of the matter is that the millions of dollars that AC35 contributed to Bermuda’s economy has not yet been replicated by David Burt and his government.

I mean, talk about things not adding up. It is not adding up that Binance, Medici, Shyft and Arbitrade came to this country and promised in excess of $25 million in jobs, education, incubators and the like, and to date, none of those promises have come to fruition.

Where are the jobs? Where are the opportunities for Bermudians?

It is not adding up that local Bermudian businesses are closing under the burden of taxation that is being imposed on the small Bermudian entrepreneur.

It doesn’t add up that seniors are struggling to pay land tax on properties that they bought in the hopes of being able to retire in them and be financially comfortable.

It doesn’t add up that despite the imposition of the sugar tax, there has not been any evidence of a corresponding reduction in obesity and diabetes, which was the alleged purpose of the tax.

And, by the way, where is that extra revenue that is being generated by the sugar tax being housed and/or spent? While the Premier said that some of it was going to the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, how else is it being used?

Mr Riley’s time would be better spent trying to assist the Government in compiling a legislative agenda that incorporates ways of getting out of the hole that we are in, rather than trying to engage in retrospective conspiracy theories to discredit the work that the One Bermuda Alliance did for this country and its economy.

His attempt to play down the benefits of AC35 and the work of the Bermuda Tourism Authority is at best a very amateurish hatchet job. The overall results that AC 35 has on the economy and the BTA’s tourism results speak for themselves — and they speak loudly, particularly in the absence of any significant revenue-generating projects promulgated by Mr Burt’s government.

What Mr Riley should be calculating on the back of his napkin are the losses, taxes and financial burdens that the Premier has imposed on this country and its people since July 2017.

Leah Scott is the Deputy Leader of the One Bermuda Alliance and the Opposition MP for Southampton East Central (Constituency 30)

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Published Oct 31, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 31, 2019 at 8:13 am)

Riley’s Swag lacks street cred

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