Too many egos in the room
Being an ordinary “Joe” who is not an accountant, I find it incredible that we are now in debt to the tune of $3.19 billion. The usual excuse blaming Covid cannot be used this time. If my memory serves me correctly, when the Progressive Labour Party became government in 1998, it took over a surplus. of $1.2 million.
I believe the exchange of land — Southlands for Morgan’s Point — was arranged by the PLP about 2007 or 2008. Southlands was going to be an addition to the national parks; however, it is still blocked off to the general public.
Then we had the low-cost housing plan on South Road in Warwick, which ended up with only two units being sold and the rest empty. Now it has been taken over for tourists who are not coming to our island!
The Premier does not like to admit he was wrong about the America’s Cup being a successful event, generating a large amount of revenue and jobs for Bermudians. He refuses to bring another such event, which would produce some of the revenue so sorely needed. Just because it was a One Bermuda Alliance idea — which the PLP was opposed to at that time — does not mean it was bad.
There are good ideas on both sides of the aisle and it is about time egos should not be at the forefront. Co-operation from both sides will ensure Bermuda bounces back, but the Premier must not allow his ego to get in the way.
Why are so many people allowed to be negligent in paying their fines, land taxes, employment tax, etc? There is a large amount outstanding and the Government needs to be proactive. If fines are not paid, vehicles should not be relicensed and/or should be confiscated. After three months, sell the vehicle to cover the fines and the balance goes into the general fund. I have been told, “We cannot do that because of folks’ constitutional rights”. The fact they have not paid what is due, they have abrogated such rights!
If the country really wants to save money, let us reduce the number of Members in the House of Assembly and the Senate. The average size of a constituency in Britain is about 50,000 people. Let us have, say, 15 people in the House of Assembly and maybe three in the Senate, one representative from each party and one independent. That would be a huge saving and ensure that every representative is a working one and not a backbencher, getting paid but not working for it.
This may be too much of a commonsense approach; however, not much common sense is alive and well these days.