UBP Bob Richards’s Budget Reply

February 25, 2011

This morning [Feb 25] in the House of Assembly Shadow Minister of Finance Bob Richards is delivering the reply to the 2011/12 Budget.

Mr Richard’s started off by saying: “Mr. Speaker, my colleagues and I had hoped to come to this Honourable House this morning in support of a Government Budget that had set the country on a path to economic recovery. Never before in living memory have circumstances so warranted “bold decisive action on the part of government”, as the Premier/Finance Minister promised in her Budget Statement last week.”

“Latest figures on the island’s gross domestic product – an indicator of our standard of living – showed a contraction of 8.1%, a calamitous drop affecting all sectors of the economy. At a jobs fair last week, 835 people showed up for 155 jobs. Unemployment, unknown for generations, has become a fact of daily life for thousands. Retail sales have fallen for 32 straight months. Nowhere is the reality of this devastating statistic more apparent than in St. George’s where shop closures give it the feel of a commercial ghost town.”

“Tourism air arrivals are at their lowest in more than 40 years and Bermuda’s hotel sector hangs by a thread; with the gleaming new Belmont/Newstead properties in receivership and promised new developments unable to break ground. Public debt doubled this past year to more than a billion dollars. The Government has set aside $70 million just to pay the interest this coming year. That’s more than $180,000 a day.”

The full 34-page document is below, click ‘Full Screen’ for greater clarity:

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Comments (14)

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  1. Chart says:

    The BDA wants to be the Opposition. But compare their “abridged” response to the Budget to the detailed response delivered by the UBP … and judge for yourself who’s more competent.

  2. Winnie says:

    Bob I used to think you were a bearer of doom and gloom for political reasons, I however have seen your words come to past from 3-4 years ago. Can we imagine if we had set targets of say 50 million per year savings 4 years ago. I will admit I am a convert, you know your stuff when it come on to the finances. I do know commenting and actually doing it as being the Minister are two different things but your predctions were/are spot on.

  3. My two cents says:

    Why don’t the PLP ask for Bob’s help? Isn’t he the one that told all of us a recession was coming and the PLP said he was scaremongering? Well moving forward, perhaps it would behoove the country if our politicians came together for this recession for once. Bob obviously knows what he is talking about whether you like him or not. Please PLP, I beg you to work together with those that are “in the know” for the people of Bermuda, you know, the ones that pay you?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Wouldn’t it be nice if the polititians put political partys aside for a couple years, sorted out among themnselves who is best for what Ministry, never mind party affiliation, & got on with the job fo the better of the Island?

      Nah…Never happen. Too maany of them are too self centered, selfish & immature to even consider such a method of getting Bermuda back on its feet.

      Oh well…we voted for them. I guess we got what we deserve.

      Good speech Bob. I noticed there was very little heckling from the peanut gallery. Perhaps they were listening for a change.

      • man the lifeboats... says:

        “Oh well…we voted for them. I guess we got what we deserve.Good speech Bob.”

        Yes, y’all did….

        “I noticed there was very little heckling from the peanut gallery. Perhaps they were listening for a change.”

        What a novel idea…

        just saying… lol

    • Cleancut says:

      That’s a good idea. Let Bob Richards help the Finance Minister get this country back on it’s feet. While he’s doing that maybe the shadow education minister could help Jennifer Smith get the Education ministry up and running proficiently, maybe patrice Minors could use a helping hand from David Dodwell, and Michael Dunkley could bring in some well needed good statesmenship needed to replace a time bomb on TV. I tell you what! When the next General Election comes around let’s vote in the UBP and do everything one- time! It will save on costs, rather than having to pay these ministers as consultants!

  4. Chart says:

    Yeah, I think Bob and Grant should join the PLP.
    LOL!

  5. Devrae says:

    Despite All the UBP ‘non-believers’ you have to admit that todays budget reply from Shadow Minister of Finance, Bob Richards, hit it on the head today! The PLP has No direction and No solution…
    Bob Richard’s showed the people of Bermuda that the ‘Government in Waiting’, the United Bermuda Party, is stronger and more than capable of leading this country back to economic reform.
    So, ‘No lights out!’ ‘No Dead Horse’ only truth and transparency…

    • Preto Plato says:

      Surely you don’t belive the crap you just typed. Government in waiting my ass. All he did was talk about the USA, and said he’d form a commission to examine ways to reduce bureacracy.

      If the UBP are really a government in waiting why didn’t they present an alternate budget, why didn’t they say we’ll cut spending by XYZ to balance the budget. We’ll cut X and Y, reduce Z, raise A and B. NADA… You got a lot of words that put everyone to sleep and tired UBP lines about operation ceasefire and a tourism authority, fish where the fish are, a review of term limits, and education reform.

      This was a budget speech, I still want to know what a UBP budget would look like. As much as I’m a PLP supporter, I don’t think we should have free busses and ferrys, daycare, financial assistance etc… (while people have the lastest blackberries, LCDs and Cable). However i would at least admire the oppostion if they would be honest and say they would cut things.

      As much as Bob Richards spoke about debt and deficits, he offered not ONE solution to fix it, nothing about what he would cut or raise. Its ALL smoke an mirrors. Don’t beleive me, read the speech again. You can’t be a government in waiting unless you put out a credible plan. A speech is not a plan. The governement put out a 300 page budget, the UBP could have at least produced a 5 page budget outline with numbers so the people could at least have a choice then we can have a real debate.

      • UncleElvis says:

        He doesn’t run the country. This was a Budget Reply, not a platform.

        The PLP runs the country. Not the UBP.
        It is the PLP’s job to say what they’re going to do and the Opposition’s job to point out what’s wrong with it.

        Now, if this was an election speech, I’d agree with you, but, unlike the current and past PLP administrations, it seems that Mr. Richards ISN’T working in “Election Mode”.

        If you want the UBP’s budget, vote them in in the next election.

        Until then, don’t bitch that they’re not doing the Government’s job.

    • Black Soil says:

      The UBP will win the (or any) next general election when pigs fly. They are unelectible.

      • UncleElvis says:

        Sadly, this is probably not untrue.

        They’ve given up any and every chance they’ve been given, and believe me, there have been many!, to show that they are ready to govern better than the PLP.

        It’s sad for everyone. A weak Opposition is as bad for the country as a bad Government.

  6. Triangle Drifter says:

    PP, you must be new on the block. Were you not around in any of those nasty UBP years, you know, back when we had a balanced budget & no debt worth speaking about, when the PLP answered to the Budget & produced nothing but telling the UBP thaat they were doing it all wrong & they had the answers but they were not saying what those answers were?

    Well you & the rest of the ‘Vote PLP no matter what they do’ people have put them in three times. Pleased with yourselves? The debt costs us just short of $140 per MINUTE these days & it will go up.

    Bob Richards & others warned the PLP years ago of the coming recession. The PLP ignored the warnings which were there for all to see. The Brown Regime got us into this mess. What do the PLP delegates do? Why they vote the very cog in the wheel under the Brown Regime in as Premier, only now she is Premier & Finance Minister.

    Insanity!

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