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It’s the economy, stupid ...

Dwayne Robinson

The Premier, David Burt, recently told the House that empirical evidence for the reasons people emigrate from Bermuda did not exist.

Despite that, he blamed the exodus on gangs and education — and I am sure both issues have had an effect. Sadly, there probably are people who feel that to avoid being shot, they must leave their homeland.

But to place the blame on those two issues glosses over the emphasis this government has placed on lowering the cost of living, although so far with things such as the sugar tax and increases in private health insurance, the opposite seems to have happened.

The announcement of a body such as the Cost of Living Commission is a clear acknowledgement that the Government knows these are issues that Bermudians struggle with daily.

So how can the Premier blame gangs and education — without any “empirical evidence” — and not consider our cost of living?

The Progressive Labour Party, under Mr Burt, built its campaign on reducing the cost of living and creating a “fairer” Bermuda, yet with the new and increased taxes imposed by this government, the cost-of-living struggle has got only harder for many Bermudians.

I was among many Bermudians who found it strange that Mr Burt seemed to almost brush off questions about the cost of living during Premier’s Question time.

This makes me assume two things: Mr Burt has either completely lost touch with the average Bermudian, or he is attempting to deflect from the economy because of the lack of an effective stimulus plan.

As a young Bermudian, I found the Premier’s comments a slap in the face for my fellow people who are struggling to reside in their own country, and who are slowly but surely being forced into debt under the weight of rising expenses.

It is also a slap in the face for businesses being forced to pack up shop because their expenditure outweighs their revenue.

It is a slap in the face to the parents who struggle to keep a roof over their children’s heads, and seniors who are being forced to choose between buying groceries or paying their healthcare costs.

It is extremely disheartening to see the major issue afflicting our country casually brushed aside by our island’s leader.

Dwayne Robinson is an Opposition senator with the One Bermuda Alliance