Log In

Reset Password
BERMUDA | RSS PODCAST

Edness: Cut salaries rather than add debt

Former minister Quinton Edness has implored the Bermuda Government to impose cuts rather than draw on its $200 million loan agreement with Butterfield Bank.

Mr Edness warned last night that incurring further debt on top of the existing $2.185 billion would prove “disastrous” for the Island.

“We should do what has happened in the past — a ten per cent cut in salaries,” Mr Edness said, calling on similar cuts in the private sector to be passed on to the Government by way of tax.

“I know we have had cuts almost everywhere, but it will be a heck of a lot worse if our debt exceeds possibly $2.5 billion — it will still mean that we will have to find the funds.

“It's still going to come from the taxpayer. It would be better to do it now when our debt is as it is.”

Mr Edness conceded that low-income workers could be exempted from salary cuts that would otherwise impose undue hardship on families.

“There is still huge earning taking place in a number of areas — they can afford to pay 10 per cent to help the Government,” he said. “I don't earn any more; I am retired and on a pension, but I believe people like me would be able to give up five or ten per cent.

“I do not want to see us put in the disastrous position of increased debt, where we would be subservient to all kinds of financial conditions and our borrowing capacity and credit rating would go down.”

The loan agreement, approved last month by Parliament, has been likened to an overdraft by Bob Richards, the Minister of Finance, who said it would be acted upon only when “absolutely necessary” to meet financing for 2015-16, as well as reducing the 2016-17 deficit.

Financial advice: Quinton Edness says salaries should be cut to save money rather than Bermuda having to add to its multibillion debt (File photograph)

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published August 05, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 05, 2015 at 2:24 am)

Edness: Cut salaries rather than add debt

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon