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Our children could abandon us over national debt

First look: Brian Duperreault, Sage Commission chairman, releases the commission’s interim report in July 2013

Dear Sir,

I am very worried about the lack of understanding and concern for Bermuda’s massive national debt by the majority of Bermudians. Managing the national debt should be the most important issue for all Bermudians. It seems Bermuda’s debt has little impact on the day-to-day lifestyle of the average Bermudian. I am sure if we all had to pay a percentage of our salaries to pay just the interest on our debt, $500,000 a day, people would seek a better understanding of our debt commitments.

Craig Mayor, a few years ago, stated to the Public Accounts Committee that if Bermuda could maintain the same level of expenses and increase revenues by 3 per cent per year, in 17 years our national debt would be at a sustainable level. Seventeen years in a perfect scenario!

In Bermuda’s boom years, revenues were increasing at about 2.5 per cent. Therefore, with the state of the economy today, it is obvious that Bermuda has little choice but to stimulate the economy, increase the number of foreign workers in international business and significantly reduce government expenses. The Government could easily, at the bare minimum, adopt most of the Sage Report’s suggestions. It is irresponsible and reprehensible to pass this debt on to our children and grandchildren, and not to be willing to suffer some of the burden at this time.

Bermuda’s children and grandchildren will leave the island, refusing to pay for our debt and to contribute to a pension they will never receive.