It is easier to criticise than to offer solutions
“When we judge or criticise another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical.” — SirWinston Churchill
I have read, with a large amount of amusement, the weekly list of comments from faceless critics who take any given subject and attempt to turn it into an anti-Progressive Labour Party issue.
While there is always a need to hold governments accountable, some of the comments of these folks are devoid of reason. On the one hand, they want Bermuda to be a part of the globalised world, yet on the other they expect this island to be free from the issues that affect the rest of the planet.
Making weekly, baseless claims about politicians does not change the reality that we face with any given number of challenges. The issues we face did not begin in 2017 under this present administration.
Bermuda has always bragged about having a high standard of living. What we did not brag about was that a high standard of living came with a high cost.
As long as Bermudians have been able to travel, they have ventured to cities in North America to shop and save money. Ask any veteran customs officer how many persons returned home with multiple suitcases of household items.
Where were the critics blaming the Government then?
Equally amusing are some of the “solutions” to the high costs of living put forward by the Opposition leader on June 8:
• “The first obvious answer is to reinvigorate our tourism industry … this industry employs most of Bermuda’s working class and working poor”
• Continue with the Economic Investment Residential Certificates for high-net-worth individuals
• “Utilise the training and retraining skills which are available at the Bermuda College or the National Training Board”
This is amusing as the One Bermuda Alliance has been constantly attacking the Government for providing guarantees to get the Fairmont Southampton revitalised. You know, the place that employs 500 to 700 persons.
On one hand, it says that is the first solution, yet on the other it attacks the very deal that speaks to its solution.
On the second point, it is nice to see the OBA is giving credit to the Economic Investment Residential Certificates programme spearheaded by economy minister Jason Hayward.
On the third point, it curiously fails to mention that under the present administration, additional financial resources have been directed to Bermuda College since 2018 to allow pathways for Bermudians to retrain and improve their skill sets.
Last week in Parliament, it was announced that a list of grocery items will be soon made duty-free. This follows some earlier cuts in taxes such as payroll tax for those earning less than $96,000, and a 10 per cent decrease in vehicle licensing fees.
These are things that the Opposition refused to do while in government in order to help the people of Bermuda.
Like all other small jurisdictions, Bermuda is faced with some hard choices. People rightly want the cost of living to go down and look to the Government to cut taxes on items. The reality is that in order to pay civil servants and balance the Budget, there has to be sufficient income.
• Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail at email@example.com