OBA criticises late release of inflation figures
The Government has come under fire for releasing the latest inflation figures only after it delivered its Throne Speech on Friday.
The monthly statistics are normally released in the middle of each month. But the October bulletin was released late on Friday after the opening of Parliament. The report is usually prepared weeks earlier.
In a move that the opposition One Bermuda Alliance described as “suspicious”, deputy party leader Jarion Richardson questioned why the figures — which showed that food prices had risen 9 per cent in the past year although the overall inflation rate edged down — were not released earlier.
Mr Richardson said: ”The publication of the July 2022 Consumer Price Index immediately after the Throne Speech seems awfully convenient.
“Previous economic statistics were typically published in the middle of the month, but July’s numbers — which were supposed to be released in mid-October — were not released at that time, and no reason given for it.
“Then, in a November 2 story, The Royal Gazette noted that the Department of Statistics had actually prepared those statistics, but the Ministry of Economy and Labour still hadn’t released the information.
“Then, on November 4, the Government’s Throne Speech is given and only later that day are the economic statistics released.
“Those statistics paint a continuing bleak picture for Bermuda and show why the Throne Speech was inadequate for today’s challenges.
“The Government must explain why the July 2022 Consumer Price Index was delayed until after the Throne Speech. Otherwise, this conduct will be seen as nothing less than suspicious.”
The Royal Gazette first asked the Government why the figures had not been released on October 25. Despite further requests for information, no response was received. The CPI report was finally released late on Friday without any explanation for the delay.
The report did contain a revision of previous fuel and power price rises.