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Finance minister Curtis Dickinson announces $11m boost to construction

The Government’s plan to boost the economy with a building programme includes about 40 projects valued at more than $11 million, the Minister of Finance has revealed.

Curtis Dickinson said several of the projects were “slated to begin imminently”.

He added that the work was “advanced to keep people employed while refreshing our infrastructure”.

Mr Dickinson said the work would be funded with part of the proceeds of Government’s recent debt raise of $1.35 billion in the bond markets.

The Government said at the time the bonds were issued that some of the funding would go to support capital projects as well as investment in renewable energy.

Mr Dickinson said this week the “tentative” stimulus plan was struck by government’s capital expenditure plan technical committee and included projects proposed “thus far”.

He added that the group had been meeting to “expedite public sector capital investment focusing on construction projects”.

Mr Dickinson said more information about the stimulus plan would be released by the Ministry of Public Works.

David Burt, the Premier, said that “during this week and next week, my Ministerial colleagues will hold joint press conferences to detail their ministry’s initiatives”.

Simon Tully, the president of the Construction Association of Bermuda, said he had not heard any details of the plan.

Mr Tully said: “Not a peep – I have no idea what that would be.”

He added: “I haven’t seen any documents and, as far as I’m aware, none of the board members have, either.”

The Progressive Labour Party platform for last month’s General Election included a promise to “create employment while reducing long-term costs” by installing “renewable energy facilities on large government buildings, public schools, and at the National Sports Centre”.

The platform said the work would happen “before the end of the year”.

The platform also pledged support “over the next five years” for a range of projects, including a medical tourism centre, a residential community care centre in the West End, affordable housing in North Hamilton, expansion of homes at Harbour View Village and the relocation of Bermuda’s container port.

Others were the recently-announced Ottiwell A Simmons International Arbitration Centre, redevelopment of the Fairmont Southampton hotel, and upgrades to the water supply and waste treatment systems.

Curtis Dickinson, Minister of Finance

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Published November 12, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated November 12, 2020 at 11:18 am)

Finance minister Curtis Dickinson announces $11m boost to construction

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