Budget fails to address major issues, OBA
The Budget fails to address major issues affecting the Island, according to Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards.
In a statement this afternoon, Mr Richards said: “We thought that they might have to raise the debt ceiling in spite of the fact that they have borrowed the $62 million from pension funds ... I think it will be $62 when they finish.
“One wonders how one can believe any of these numbers here. When you look at what happened last time, what their estimates were last time and what the reality was, it was not even close. So we’ve got estimates for revenues ... I don’t know what credibility people can put to these estimates of revenues or expenses. They’ve always come out on the wrong foot over the last several years. So it’s a big problem.
“That’s been the modus operandi so far. There are a lot of platitudes to a lot of things but no plan to change the major issues of this Island.
“We’ve been given no plan no hope to turn around our international business, to turn around tourism. All of a sudden they realise they have to try to save money and be efficient but any government should have known that from the beginning of time. So there’s not much in here except a bit of a folksy story.
“Most importantly there’s nothing in here that talks about what they’re gonna do about the immigration problem the term limit problem, nothing in here about healthcare costs. Those are the real issues that we have to tackle. They’re not tackling the issues. I don’t know what kind of leadership this is if they don’t tackle the issues. The serious issues that we are facing in this country have not been addressed in this budget.”
Asked if there is anything in the Budget Statement that impresses him, he said: “I’ll read it again to see if I can find that.”
OBA leader Craig Cannonier said: “What Bermuda needs to ask initially with this Budget is does this put more food on the table, is it going to better educate our children and is it going to create more jobs for Bermudians.
“And that’s the question that we must ask. Initially when I look, it reads well, it’s a great story but in reality what we’ve seen is that budgets have always read well but in reality we get a whole different story. And so I don’t know if this budget is going to meet the reality of the people of this Country. And that’s where we need to hone in on these numbers and get down to the nitty gritty.”