OBA: Budget designed as election winner, not to tackle economic crisis
The One Bermuda Alliance has accused David Burt, the Premier, of presiding over an irresponsible and electioneering Budget.
Cole Simons, the Opposition leader, yesterday warned voters not to fooled by the Premier’s “sweet melodies”.
He claimed the blueprint for the next financial year was focused on the next General Election and not on dealing with the island’s major problems.
Mr Simons said: “This was not a responsible Budget. Instead, it felt like a political one – an election Budget.
“We can’t help but to feel that all Premier Burt’s government has done is kick the proverbial can down the road.
“Hard decisions have to be taken in order to improve Bermuda’s financial position and the Budget did not fit the bill.”
Mr Simons added: “It lacks courage. Premier Burt surely played sweet melodies to rock our residents to sleep … but don’t be fooled.”
Mr Simons said the Budget had only scratched the surface of the cost of living problem.
He added: “A ten per cent saving in vehicle tax does not compare to the increased inflation rates and cost of living in Bermuda.
“The Government says that it will refund taxes. Our question is … how is this possible when we are lacking revenue?
“How can we provide this with the colossal debt we have? Once again, the Government is misleading the people.”
Mr Simons added that Mr Burt had shifted his position on immigration.
He said: “Although he is stopping short of saying it, Premier Burt is finally admitting that in order for the island to thrive, immigration policies must change.
“The OBA has been calling for this since its inception. We need a minimum of 10,000 new residents to bolster our economy.
“We need bodies on the island.”
Mr Simons accused the Progressive Labour Party of deflection tactics to try and blame the OBA for its own mistakes.
He said: “The PLP have been in power for over 20 years and the people of Bermuda are tired of this narrative.
“The time has come for the Government to acknowledge that it has played a great hand in where we are as an island today.
“We need to focus on solutions.”