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Mr Richards should not be hiding facts

Dear Sir,

After listening to Bob Richards, the Minister of Finance, on television and his steadfast refusal to divulge income figures to the Bermuda public in relation to the airport project, it raises a few questions. Mr Richards should not be hiding the facts.

His very arrogant stance where he refused to substantiate or dispel the rumours of the revenue to be given up over 30 years does little to boost his or his party's credibility in the eyes of the Bermuda people.

Does he not feel we do not have a right to know? Why the secrecy and political posturing surrounding this issue?

Looking at the only annual report I could find online from the Bermuda Government, the 2011 audit showed aviation income of $11.2 million and visitor taxes, of which only part belong to the airport, at $29.2 million. I would hazard a guess that less than $10 million is airport revenue due to the continuing decline in arrivals.

Mr Richards needs to come clean about this, as no one goes into a project of this magnitude without considering the financial impact before they start.

So we know you have these figures, you know you have them, so why all the bluster and constant verbal posturing to withhold them? Does the minister think that Bermudians are inherently stupid, so they do not need to know?

All government projects should be able to stand in the light of public scrutiny. While the One Bermuda Alliance has been chosen to govern, this does not mean that it can do whatever it wants. Nor does it mean that it is not accountable to the Bermudian public.

So, come on, Mr Richards. Set the record straight and rise to the “transparency platform” that you and your colleagues so easily threw around during your election campaign. So far, all we, the public, have seen are attempts to cover up and mislead the general public.

When in Opposition, the OBA complained about the length of operating leases given out, but it is doing the same thing in St George's. It complained about a lack of transparency and is doing the very same thing.

The present and former governments have been a great disappointment to many Bermudians. As we plough through the many broken campaign promises, the lack in the Bermuda workforce and the stifling debt, the country now is having money diverted for lawsuits where name-calling seems to the forte. MPs regularly take people to court, not only wasting the court's time but wasting precious resources.

When are these men and women going to develop some testicular fortitude to ignore these insults? Get over yourselves! Enough is enough. I think an online petition preventing ministers from using government funds to stroke their overinflated egos is in order. If they feel the need for legal action, let them pay for it themselves. Ego trips should not be paid for by the public purse — we saw enough of that with the Progressive Labour Party.

I, for one, would seriously think twice before voting for either party ever again. They both operate in the same manner: under a veil of secrecy, causing the mistrust.

Stop wasting the public's money in these frivolous lawsuits!

Come clean on projects — before documents are signed!

Be transparent!

Be accountable!

BELLA57

Why the secrecy? Bob Richards, the Minister of Finance

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Published August 27, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 27, 2015 at 1:05 am)

Mr Richards should not be hiding facts

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