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Richards on budget: ‘Good news, bad news’

Minister of Finance Bob Richards

All eyes will be on Bob Richards, the Minister of Finance, as he arrives at Parliament with the One Bermuda Alliance’s fifth and likely final Budget before the next General Election.

Although Mr Richards said he preferred to let the highly anticipated document speak for itself, he told The Royal Gazette last night: “There will be good news, and some bad news.”

Asked if the tough austerity measures of earlier years had given way to more optimistic times, Mr Richards said: “We’re still not there yet, that’s for sure. There’s still a period of adjustment from, shall we say, the indiscretions of the past.” The fiscal agenda for the Bermuda Government came with some extra pressure because of “the convergence of the airport debate and the Budget debate — it’s been very trying with those two squashed together”.

“We work on the Budget for many months before we bring it to the House,” Mr Richards said.

“There has been consultation with the private sector for a year, and this is the result.”

The 2017-2018 Budget is the sole item of business today in Sessions House, with MPs to break after it is delivered.