“Personnel Costs Must Be Reduced”

January 6, 2012

[Written by Sir John.Swan and Larry Burchall]

In the 12 December 2011 Pre-Budget Report (PBR) and Ministerial Statement (MS), the Finance Minister acknowledged the depth of Bermuda’s economic situation. The Minister recognizes that revenue is unlikely to improve substantially and that even after spending cuts, planned spending levels will still stay so high that debt and debt servicing costs will continue to increase.

Following are figures of revenue and expenditures that the Finance Minister presents in the PBR and MS. Figures for 2010/11 are actual and 2011/12 are projections.

If we look carefully at the figures above, cuts occur in Government services which include Future Care, Government daycare, maintenance of public infrastructure, Financial Assistance, unscheduled Police overtime etc.

Debt Service cannot be cut as this is money that has been borrowed and is repayable to outside lenders who have agreed a specific financial arrangement. Paying these outside lenders is a priority. However, it is clear that the Minister intends to maintain high personnel costs.

The figure of $352,700,000 for All Other Government Costs (AOGC) is $224,700,000 less than the previous year 2010/11. If we use actual historical costs from 2010/11as a comparative figure, the deficit for 2011/12 could be as high as $344,000,000.

We must also realize that the projected figures do not include any provision for capital expenditures or any unforeseen events such as damage caused by a hurricane.

Therefore, the Government will have only two options to manage its financial position:

  1. Borrow more money and suffer the immediate and future negative financial consequences
  2. Reduce all areas of Government personnel costs

In order to keep business viable and surviving in these economic times, the private sector cuts and eliminates costs in every area possible by closing businesses and making staff redundant. The private sector individual experiences job loss and reductions in income from rents, sales, interest and dividends.

Government spends approximately 60% of its revenue to service its personnel costs. Therefore the only area where Government can cut spending with an immediate effect is personnel cost. The Government needs to cut their personnel cost by a minimum of 20%. This would equate to $119,460,000 in savings which is the deficit projected for 2011/12 by the Minister.

However, if the historical figure of $344,000,000 were to be correct, then this cut would still leave $244,540,000 in deficit. Therefore, a higher percentage cut should not be ruled out. Also, a freeze on any further employment in the Civil Service including the Quangos should be implemented immediately.

If critical and essential Government services are to be maintained, personnel costs must be reduced now and into 2012/13. Going forward it is clear that Government’s costs must be kept down until Bermuda’s private sector economy, which is now 85% dependent on Financial Services, stops shrinking and begins to grow again which would provide a bigger tax base to generate more taxable economic activity.

- Sir John.Swan & Larry Burchall

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  1. Sean says:

    Makes perfect sense. Government has been banking on (And borrowing) against the hope that the economy is going to quickly turn around. The problem is that it doesn’t look like it is by most indications. They’ve held off making crucial and hard decsions, for the attempted gain of political favour at the expense of fiscal prudency. However the time is approaching where their hand is going to be forced and something is going to have to give. Governement has already started to shrink services in terms of what they fund both internally (Governemnt department offereings) and externally (What they contribute towards in terms of charity and community organisations/events), they next step almost any business would do in this case would be to review and then reduce manpower, however this obviously would not prove popular, espcially as in above they have already reduced spending towards services, they wouldn’t be in a postion to help people who have been laid off. While the Government can’t be blamed for the recession, they can be blamed for not being prepared for it. Had there been a plan, instead of just borrowing mass amounts of money, it would have eased the blow considerably. The government would have you believe that well all other countries in the world are experiencing this, however places like Canada seem to be weathering the storm pretty well. I beleive that 2012 and 2013 is when the veneer is going to be stripped away and we are going to see the folly of this Government’s ways.

  2. Liars says:

    thats funny cause didnt we just see a couple new jobs that pay nearly $200,000 in the paper just this week? John your suggestive accounting hasn’t worked with the clog all these years, so it ain’t going work now, nice try though.

    • Death to party politics says:

      Yes, three Permanent secretaries I believe. The writing on the wall is obvious that the civil service is bloated and needs to be reduced somehow.

  3. LaVerne Furbert says:

    Which part did Sir John write and which part did Larry Burchall write? I wonder why they need two people to write one article. What’s that about?

    • Andre says:

      Who cares how many people wrote it!

      • Yup says:

        Tru Dat Andre!!…and BTW LaVerne so much of the lip smack that comes out of PLP was written by foreigners. What would PLP do without hiring loads of foreigner!?!

    • Boom says:

      So you don’t think the content or the message is important then LaVerne! Head on the sand PLP again eh.

      • The One (Original) says:

        Laverne writing irrelevant drivel as usual. Try to muddy the message so as to disguise what a crap job PLP has been doing. Pathetic.

    • personnelcutsnow says:

      It is my take that the letter is about very real concern for the quality of life for the ORDINARY Bermudian in the future. The letter shows understanding, sensitivity and genuine worry for the ORDINARY Bermudian in the future. The letter shows EMPATHY for the ORDINARY Bermudian in the future.

      Has the Government ELITE become disconnected with the ORDINARY Bermudian struggle? or do the financial dots simply not connect?

      Wonder about the noted ‘joint effort’ may stem partially from the fact that teamwork is often dismissed in Bermuda Politics due to outspoken views and hasty actions based on individual, under-informed, egotistical agendas.

    • sigh says:

      I agree Laverne – it is so clear their agenda.
      Just call them the Tag Team.

      • Tired of nonsense says:

        You guys really can’t take any constructive criticism!

        These two individuals present you with facts and figures and yet you still insinuate that they have some sort of agenda.

        Why are you guys so paranoid? It is telling that not one of you have come up with a rebuttal to the actual argument. Nope all you lot do is focus on the messenger.

        Again these gentlemen are using real facts and figures procured from the Govt themselves. I guess reality has an anti-PLP bias and is now part of the Combined Opposition.

        PS: Do you honestly believe that it is sustainable for 60% of Govt revenues to be spent on civil service salaries?

      • Boom says:

        The agenda of the Bermudian people is something the PLP have no interest in. The PLP want independence at all costs. They have admitted that it is not what Bermudians want, but are still going for it anyway. Vote the fools out before you have nothing left.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Shooting the messenger again sweety?

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        No sweetie, just questioning the messenger. Isn’t that why they’ve put the information out there? Or are they expecting each Bermudian to accept their opinion hook, line and sinker? You understand what I’m saying, sweetie?

        • 32n64w says:

          Do civil service salaries and interest expense on the $1B+ loan not account for a significant majority of Government expenses? Is this trend sustainable or not in the absence of increased Government revenue or decreased expenditures?

          Given their analysis what is incorrectly clouded by their opinion and what is fact?

    • sharky says:

      Ms. LF
      Why does it matter?
      The numbers speak for themselves.You by the way have no right to question.
      Why don,t you find out instead what your employer fat cats did with the millions in BIU funds!

    • Mad Dawg says:

      LaVerne, sweetheart.

      You “wonder why” they needed two people to write the article.

      If you’re suggesting that people should work efficiently, that’s great. I often wonder why we need 700 people in the Ministry of Education when there are only 500 teachers. I wonder why we need 6,500 government employees now, when in the mid-2000′s there were 4,500 doing the same thing. I think you are arguing in favour of Sir John and Mr Burchall.

    • Pastor Syl says:

      Maybe in the hope that if y’all won’t listen to one, you might listen to the other. For sure, you need to listen.

    • True Bermudian says:

      You are as dumb as the sky is blue LaVerne.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Oh Good grief Laverne, can’t you come up with somethiong better than that?

      Go back to your schoolyard bullies & see if you cab do a little better.

      And the PLP saw fit to make you a Senator!!! Unbelievable, but, when you look at the PLP record I guess not surprising at all.

    • Redman says:

      Typical PLP spin from the Former Senator (Give thanks for small mercy’s), If you can’t pick holes in the argument then try deflection. Who cares which or if any of them have written it. One thing for sure is this, You Ms. Furbert couldn’t have written it even using half the Cabinet. Not least because it would need you to come to conclusions other than the PLP are managing things well.

    • 32n64w says:

      Shooting the messenger yet again. Care to refute their analysis? No? Didn’t think so.

      Typical PLP response when they can neither comprehend nor re-butt a factual based argument.

      The PLP thrive on emotion and despise logic.

    • citi zen says:

      take a break

    • Noel Ashford says:

      Lol.. don’t be upset because you dont understand the big words… I’m sure this is coming soon to a pop up book… This statement to the rest of us is however obvious. The PLP government is a failure from a business model pespective no matter what way you slice, twist or turn it, and now the very people it is MEANT to represent best (the Union and civil service) will pay the ultimate price – job loss, assuming the PLP is brave enough to do the right thing now versus driving the island even further in to the ground. It cant be said simpler than John Swan put it. I have been saying this in all of my posts for some time now.

  4. SUPERDAVE says:

    Look out for the Pitbull. He will have none of that!

  5. Decisions says:

    I was taught by my peers, when times are good work hard and put money away for a rainy day. The PLP had the opportunity to do just this as they took over in 1998 when the economy was good and they had quite a few years of prosperity, enough years to put funds aside. The rainy days are here and the country is broke.
    It’s not going to be easy to get us out of this financial mess without some drastic measures.

  6. Dude says:

    So approximately how many people must government cut after the election to achieve your $120m savings?

    • Bewildered says:

      Looking at the numbers, I’d say at least 1,200.

      • Bewildered says:

        Alternatively, there needs to be an across the board payroll cut of 20%. So there is at least one alternative, or a combination. The size of Government has to reduce to match the reduction in the private sector, which provides the tax revenue to support the Government. Another choice is to retrain Government employees to be able to work in the private sector. There are many thousands of work permits out there.

        • Dennis Williams says:

          Reducing work permits reduces Government revenue creating a bigger hole. Also I don’t know of anyone who can take a 20% loss to their income and still meet their basic financial obligations.

          • Bewildered says:

            So what is your suggestion to the problem? You can’t keep borrowing $200 million a year to pay salaries, whcih is what will happen this year and going forward for several years at least because there is no room to raise taxes and there is no likelihood of any growth in the economy. Unfortunately the out of control hiring spree over the past 5 years has created the problem, not the global recession.

  7. Save just $400,000 per MP says:

    …….start by not re-hiring MP Minors as a Senator when she loses her Consituency No 10 seat in the election as her package alone costs us over $400,000+

    1) Salary
    2) Gas & maintenance for her GP car back and forth to St Davids daily
    3) Conferences which teach you how to make decisions as a minister or manager
    4) Conferences that are supposed to give us new ideas on doing the things necessary in our complex 22 sq mile island
    5) Conferences on good governance, resetting the dial and how to ignore the plebs (i.e. the Voter)
    6) Business class airfare + hotel nights at 4+ star hotels befitting the role of Minister
    7) Many per diem and expense days for the time away, and calls home
    8) Blackberry bill – as these MPs get up to the minute instructions for everything they need to do or say and so they stay “on message” for each new crisis or scandal

    • Larrry Marshall Jr. says:

      She can’t even be reached. Made promises before the 2007 election and doesn’t even have the decency to make herself available to the people who got her in. They will put her in a safe seat somewhere though. She dare not canvas around here. Which is why you haven’t seen her.

      • skeptical says:

        So true! I have never seen MP Minors at all!! Mr. Dunkley stops by on a regular basis and asks how things are and what he can do to help. I don’t know how my neighbourhood voted for MP Minors. I guess it was just a part before country vote or the party the PLP held at the entrance to Loyal Hill before the last election was enough to convince people to vote for them. SMH!!

        • skeptical says:

          *party before country vote (sorry!)

          • Death to party politics says:

            Frankly since my first year of eligibility to vote in 1998, I have yet to see anyone from the PLP in either 2003 and 2007 campaigns.

            • In General says:

              That makes two of us! this will be my third time voting and in that time have only recieved a printed piece of paper with the PLP candidate’s face on it – three days before the last election. He did not get my vote!

            • Maddog says:

              All you PEOPLE need some body to come to your door to convince you to vote for them. So sad. PLP ALL DE WAY. BY THE WAY IF YOU DON’T ALL READY KNOW,YOUR BOUNDARY HAS MOVED TO THE WHITE AREA, SO MRS MINIORS MIGHT LOSE ANY WAY THE PLP KNOW THAT ALL READY. AND DUNKLY KNOWS THAT ALL READY,BECAUSE WHY WOULD HE RUN THERE AGAIN WHERE HE WAS HUMILIATED, BECAUSE HE KNOWS HIS CHANCES ARE GOOD WITH THE WHITE PEOPLE.BLACK PEOPLE DON’T BE FOOLISH.

        • Mediaguru2 says:

          The big difference is that he is really motivated. He is desperate to get back in the House and is obviously willing to put in all the ground work to achieve that. He has something to prove after the last election where he was defeated and has got that pit bull manner that keeps him going. Before, I never really liked him, but now I tend to appreciate his shoot from the hip nonsense style.

  8. Dennis Williams says:

    Why are most of you responding to L. Furbert instead of the article itself? We are always side tracked from real debate on these important issues in Bermuda. Now $ 120,000,000 in personnel cuts would mean how many families in Bermuda would be disabilized? Does either Sir John or Mr. Burchll or Bermuda as a whole have the ability to absorb these people? Getting rid of all those jobs at once would cause other problems in so many areas that the reverberating costs which is not exclusively counted in dollars may out run the $120,000,000. I would like these two Gentleman to propose ways Government can increase revenue thereby earning additional funds to adequately financially manage Bermuda. What about private sector people with means also developing more avenues of opportunity in the country? We have so many people who just repeat what others say and think that they are contributing to the dicussion but where is the ingenuity in our Bermudian people to move this country to where we want it? It has long been time for us Bermudians to stop bickering amongst each other about party politics and Race and all these other self defeating dicusssions and start pulling together to create a country we all want for ourselves and our children.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Here you go:

      Sell 2000 full status certificates for $500,000 each. Done.

      • Chart says:

        Won’t be many takers I’m afraid, at any price.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Possibly. Possibly not.

          • Mr Expat says:

            @sandgrownan – Possibly not is the correct answer. Make that $50 and you may get a few takers from the few expats who haven’t been forced to leave or have left of their own volition. Bermuda has lost its glister. The government needs to cut staff to cut costs, or implement radical wage reductions. Neither is good, and takes courage, and I am not sure Madame Premier has that …

    • Ha! says:

      Thank you Dennis. Its easy to say we need to cut jobs and costs, but as you stated, what will happen to those people and the families that depend on that income. Many are struggling to find jobs now. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if 1200 more positions were made redundant?

      Sure this looks like a solution neatly wrapped with a nice little bow, but where is the forethought regarding the aftermath?

  9. Death to party politics says:

    I note there’s been no further mention of Ministerial salary cuts. Just an observation…..

  10. Mediaguru2 says:

    The best solution to a very difficult scenario is to put all Government Employees on a 4 day work week for the time being(probably 1-2 years). People would still have a job, although taking home 20% less in salaries and have to reduce spending likewise. The result being Government would meet the required cut in expenses without cutting jobs. This solution is the more caring approach as people would still have an income in theses hard times. This is the kind of decision that would take real b*lls to implement and would have to done after the election. The unions would fight it to the death…

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      But but but, how would they make payments on all those class G & H SUVs? How would they pay for all those trips that they are ENTITLED to?

      • Decisions says:

        Don’t forget the Blackberry phones and monthly cell phone payments. How could we live without those???

    • Ride says:

      @Mediaguru2

      Some method to reduce payroll must be undertaken but I don’t believe a blanket 4-day work week with the accompanying 20% salary reduction will fit. Some of the positions pay less than $50,000 gross (before deductions). Yes a job is better than no job but I think the higher paying positions should bear the brunt of the cuts. These positions have my discretionary income that could absorb the reduction.

      Also, some consideration must be made to household income and dependants. For example, a person earning $100,000 gross might sound like a prime candidate for a 20% salary cut. However, if this person’s spouse is out of work and they have a child then this salary is not as rosy as the initial perception. Now, I’m not saying that we should pay for these people’s joy, but we need to be aware that all is not as it initially seems.

      In any case, what government employees should consider is that they only enable their employer (the government) to continue to hire them next year by adding more value than the cost of employing them and facilitating their employment. You salary and facilities are tax dollars. You need to generate revenue or collect taxes in excess of the cost to keep you employed.

      Efficiency gains are required. I heard mention of 700 Dept. Education employees versus 500 teachers. Madness. The economy will perhaps not recover for 3 to 4 years. Government can’t keep borrowing to pay at this rate. It also keeps prices high since there is still so much (borrowed) cash in the system. When people in mass can’t afford $7 loaves of bread I guarantee you that the price will drop.

      Ride

  11. Tommy Chong says:

    The first personnel costs that should be reduced are all government ministers salary & benefits cost. A government ministry in a so called democracy should be servants to the people. Funny thing is plp got in by preaching anti-slavery when they really planned to be the slave masters & the people of Bermuda the servants. Its kind of like the founding fathers of the united states proclaiming freedom for all while they have people picking cotton on plantations. All plp supporters need to remember when the elections happen who have been enslaving us for the last few years. Slavery in reality is not about race because many different races have been enslaved throughout history. Slavery is about those at the top taking advantage of those who are lower down the cast & when plp got to the top thats exactly what they did.

  12. Wintersun says:

    Many Government jobs can be effectively accomplished without the need of multiple positions – within Departments, some workers have been performing tasks of 2 or 3 persons in the past, some are doing so presently, and therefore many can do so in the future.

  13. Portia says:

    For all of those who advocate cutting jobs in the civil service, consider this:

    1) Where do you think these people, most of whom have families, will get new jobs? In the private sector, that is constantly dwindling? Look at how many redundancies/ lost jobs we had in 2011. And the trend is likely to continue through 2012.

    2) If you DID cut government jobs, you would not really be saving money because these people would have to go on financial assistance, which would have to be increased to meet the demands. It is better to have people working then in the unemployment office having to be supported by the remaining taxpayers.

    3) As someone who has worked in both government and the private sector, I can tell you, the pay and benefits is WAY better in the private sector than government, so please don’t assume that government workers are all “living easy” with bloated pay checks because that generally is not the case.

    4) Mediaguru2 – your suggestion of a four day work week is very interesting, but personally, I think that can only work if rents, groceries, utilities, etc were ALSO reduced by 20% to compensate for it. 20% is a lot to lose from one’s pay, and simply reducing spending will not work if your creditors will not help you to reduce the costs.

    5)Tommy Chong – you are spot on. Make them take a ministerial pay cut! It is LONG OVERDUE.

    • Tired of nonsense says:

      So what is the solution?

      Keep on leveraging Bermuda to the hilt?

      • Dennis Williams says:

        Raise Government Revenue…put your thinking cap on Bermuda

        • In General says:

          Does this suggest implimenting a tax? So instead of taking a pay cut on the front end as suggested above we will charge the people on the back end so they will have less to spend anyway?

          How are you increasing Revenue?

  14. andre says:

    So what happens to the 20% of Government workers Sir John deems we need to cut? They all go on Social Assisitance right? Just a question.

  15. Learn to Add - CPA says:

    This is Vodoo Economics pure and simple. This was written by Larry Burchall no doubt, as i cannot fathom John Swan cannot add.

    The reason this is wrong is the figre they are using for expenditure in 2010/11 is 1.26 Billion. That sounds good, but that’s not actual expenditure. Taking from the same report they reference, 1.260 billion contains 150.7 million of non-cash retirement expenses.

    You can’t say “CASH REMAINING” and then include $150.7 million of non cash expenses!!!! People read the report for yourself.

    Larry is a nice guy, but an accountant he is not!

    Bernews, please make the correction as you are starting to print false figures like the Royal Gazette.

    • Tired of nonsense says:

      So what changes exactly with your noted “error?”

      Unless Mr. Swand and Burchall are telling fibs the figures presented abocve apparently are straight from the Finance Minister’s presentation a month or so ago.

      So is approximately 75% of Govt revenue not immediately being allocated to salaries and debt servicing? As a CPA do you believe that such expenditure is sustainable for your small and severely fragile economy?

      Are our finances all of a sudden rosy and we have all been mislead by the Combined opposition?

  16. LaVerne Furbert says:

    Looks like it was one blind man leading another blind man, making it two blind men giving out inaccurate information. All due respect to Sir John, who is neither an accountant or an economist, but as I’ve asked him personally, why does he think it’s necessary to join forces with Larry Burchall, who is neither an accountant, economist, or mathematician. However, he has been able to pull the wool over many an eye.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Laverne, why are you so rude about them? Do you have a problem with opinions expressed by intelligent black men? Instead of always shooting the messenger Laverne, can you enlighten us on the PLP’s plan to narrow the gap between expenditure and spending?

    • Shaking the Head says:

      LaVerne, you really need to get some help to deal with your disdain for black males, or do you have similar disdain for any male?

    • Deallnighter says:

      So Lavern I guess you are both an accountant and an economist to know what they are talking about?just saying!smh

    • Noel Ashford says:

      Laverne, He is more successful than you so I’m sorry, his opinion holds more muster to me than yours ever could… Why listen to the losing team when you can listen to a prooven winner?

  17. Tommy Chong says:

    The solution is simple, parliamentarians salaries total $4 million a year not including the fancy cars they get driven around in & all the other treats they get from being in parliament. These ministers make more than Obama for governing a spec in the ocean. They need to take a pay cut!!! These people are running Bermuda like the 40 thieves did so why is it that the people who pick up our trash bags, keep our beaches clean for the tourist plus do loads of other jobs necessary to society need to suffer. The ministers are few & the people are many so we must not bow down we need to push back.

    For those who don’t want to push back because of whatever ties & profit they have with plp SHAME ON YOU!!! You are the type of people who are the catalyst for the destruction of this once paradise.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      I agree but unfortunately Tommy, although $4m is a useful amount, we have a $150m a year problem.

  18. PwndDwg says:

    Anyone who doesn’t recognize that the BDA gov is way too big and inefficient is seriously deluded. Of course we can’t expect the country’s largest employer to made thousands redundant overnight. But we can expect them to commit to and implement a plan to do so over 5 years. We can also expect them to immediately cut salaries and eliminate expensive perks (especially GP-xxx hundred cars which would also relieve congestion and used car prices!). Taxpayers, the business community, bankers and rating agencies demand clarity and predictability. The only alternative to slimming bloated government would be to pray for manna from heaven.

  19. Hmmmmm says:

    This debate is good. It should strike fear in the hearts of all those contemplating a vote for the OBA. It is clear that when the going gets tough they will ditch you. How can you possibly discuss human resources without discussing humans and social consequences? Even the solutions ignore basic social consequences, but speak volumes about the OBA/UBP’s unchanged approach to governing Bermuda. “sell 2000 people status” is one. That is a basic non-starter for any number of reasons but the suggestion, tongue in cheek or not, is a solution to some people. It is not. The cause of this public sector salary bill is not as simple as these commentators and some of you like to make out. Some things to bear in mind:
    1. many of the new hires in the public sector were hired after being rejected by the private sector whose new-found interest in Bermudians is mildly amusing.
    2. these salaries are the result of a warped negotiation process and a sickening propensity of this government to cave in to whatever union is shouting the loudest.
    3. the desired standard of living in Bermuda demands wages that are not commensurate with skill set – in other words, the unskilled worker expects to live the same kind of material life as the skilled, university graduate. No system like that is sustainable.
    4. In the current climate, the answer is not to shed jobs in the public sector but to freeze wages while devising a means to get these people with their guaranteed salaries spending. Their large number also represents a positive for the economy that is not being exploited. They can and should be urged to spend.( ask Gobbons Comapny who used to do private shopping nights for members of the BPSU, they understand the power of the public sector spending potential)
    5. Efficiency within the public sector can only be achieved by short-term private sector leadership (persons and principles)
    6. The financil strains of openness, transparency, compliance and all the other buzz words that are required to appease all of you who believe these people steal is a rod created to beat your own back. Just think about what you’ve demanded: Public Access to Information, Procurement Office, Good Governance Act, more staff for the Auditor General, endless investigations, Department of Internal Audit, and on and on. All of those microscopes trained on your Government at your request and demand cost money. Total just how much that stuff costs and you’ll see how ridiculous it is to keep asking for more of it.

    No problem with the Sir John/Larry duo because their aims are transparent, founded in mutually exclusive self-interest.

    • Rick Rock says:

      Why would it ‘strike fear in the hearts of those contemplating a vote for OBE’?

      Isn’t it the PLP who are overspending and have no options? It’s the PLP who have chased away IB employees by the hundred, and have to now deal with the diminished tax base. And it’s the PLP who appear to have no ideas other than to increase public debt by $2-300,000,000 every year.

      Wouldn’t it be the PLP that should ‘strike fear in the hearts’ of voters?

  20. Michael H. Dunkley says:

    Ms. Furbert instead of attacking the two messengers, both of whom I have a tremendous respect for, how about dealing with the message? It is clear to me they both speak out because they care and they are making a lot of good points which we should all review very closely.
    Do you agree with what they say? If not why not?

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      Senator Dunkley, I am not surprised that you have tremendous respect for the two messengers. I do have tremendous respect and admiration for Sir John. He knows how I feel about him as I’ve publicly and personally expressed that to him.

      However, as I’ve asked him, why does he feel it necessary to write opinion columns with Larry Burchall?

      Sir John is a former Premier of Bermuda and I think most Bermudians respect him for his contribution to Bermuda.

      I’ve asked Sir John why he feels it neccesary to publish his opinion on Bermuda’s economy and I’ve yet to receive an answer. As you have the answers for all that ails Bermuda, maybe you can provide an answer for me.

      I mean, why didn’t Sir John Swan ask Cal Smith to partner with him? Or Craig Simmons? Or Quinton Sherlock, or one of the lecturers at Bermuda College? Why Larry Burchall?

      • sandgrownan says:

        I bet Sir John loves to hear your opinion! Who he chooses to “partner with” is irrelevant.

        So, Laverne, stop distracting and discuss your ideas for dealing with the precarious position in which we find ourselves. What is your plan for attracting foreign capital, introducing liquidity to the economy and addressing the debt.

        Look, I even made it easy for you by telling you what needs to happen. What are your plans to achieve growth?

      • 32n64w says:

        Still shooting the messenger. Never gets old, does it Mrs. Furbert.

        PLP – Never heard a bad idea it didn’t like.

      • Noel Ashford says:

        Laverne while I know the big numbers are VERY complicated, this isnt exactly an opinion column… it’s fact based on the figures presented. YOUR party put us into bankrupcy, also not opinion, different choices on their part such as not offering SO many free services and actually executing a project on budget, less scandals etc could have led to a different outcome – it’s public money not candy that is being given out – clear evidence that the PLP are not a qualified government speaking from a fiscally responsible standpoint at a minimum. Stop wasting peoples time with distractions. The rest of the people arent as silly as we think you are or did i word that wrong?.. Hrmm…

  21. Lady Scribbler says:

    Why do MP’s have cars anyway and why are they the massive gas gusslers? I want to see our government lead by example. I think our Premier needs a car however, she has to be all over the place for meetings but the others, no way. I despise seeing all the cars being driven around to golf courses– 100% personal and you cannot tell me any different. In the US, the polititions would be fried in the press and by the public for the blatent waste that goes on in Bermuda.

    Here’s another question. How much have salaries of MP’s increased in the last ten years. I seem to recall that was an unpaid position not too long ago!

  22. Yankee Boy says:

    DECLARE BANKRUPTCY – Or DEVALUE THE BERMUDA $$$$$ THAT’S THE SOLUTION !

    On a more serious note :

    ” IF the Government does what it has always done, we will continue to get the same results “.

    Bermuda’s financial crisis will drive thousands of people into poverty and put many more at risk Bermuda is struggling to fill huge budget deficits , with an election looming there are no simple solutions.
    Bermuda can not provide a fiscal stimulus to our combat the crisis , most countries are cutting education and social services.

  23. gottachange says:

    One has just got to be amazed at how bad a state Bermuda is reading all this crap from armchair politicians

    Please read any biography on any successful politician learn something!

  24. Wow says:

    The platinum period is here lol

    • Shaking the Head says:

      A word of advice. Don’t make quick 2 postings from the same computer, but with different “names”. The avatar will give you away.

  25. Wow says:

    Pay her no mind even Paula booted her out lol

  26. Bryan says:

    You have these “hams” collecting upwards of $300,000.00 per year as MP’s, senators etc of a country of 65,000. The US President and the Australian PM make a bit more than that and Australia has 22 million people and America quite a few more. Bermuda is unsustainable as long as the greedy self interested “Elite” hold sway. Get rid of them all except the skeleton crew necessary to ensure continuity and revamp the entire system! Call SHILOH…he can help you get the countries finances back on track. But nooooo you won’t do that cause he is not Elite enough. Bermuda’s leadership is as corrupt today as it was 200 years ago! But who is first to scream there is no corruption …the corrupt of course. It’s sad that Bermuda has become anathema to Bermudians but nectar of the God’s for foreign business in particular Insurance THE #1 scam on the planet. Bottom line….the feet of the Leadership is where fault must ultimately be placed and to fix a problem you must start at the top, if I learned nothing else growing and living in Bermuda it is that! End of rant!

  27. Maybe I'm Slow says:

    Why is it that when people speak of Government reducing the numbers of civil servants or their salaries, there is a reluctance to do so or even consider, as it may cause great hardship or further financial problems on their behalf. The private sector employers have had to make those types of decisions and their employees have had to feel the results of such decisions. I hear no great hue or cry about this, it is an acceptable consequence of doing business. While the emotional toll of being made redundant is akin to that feeling like your less than nothing, your contributions to the company and hardwork are for nought and that nagging voice in your head asking “What’s is going to happen now?” I have been the victim of two redundancies and even after the second time couldn’t believe it was happening. I have a family, commitments but my previous employers didn’t concern themselves about that fact, I was a figure on a spreadsheet which needed to be adjusted or removed. This is the human cost of doing business and staying viable in today’s environment. However painful and hard it has been on me, I do realize they felt it was warranted if they wanted to remain in business. Thankfully I have been able to find other employment, albeit outside of my scope and making less money. Sometimes the hammer has to fall and decisions have to be made. With the dire financial times and bleak projections will the Government make the hard decisions it must? I do hope so or maybe I’m just slow.

    • Pastor Syl says:

      @ Maybe I’m Slow: So sorry for your double job loss. Somehow, even knowing that the cause is economic rather than based on one’s performance doesn’t seem to mitigate the initial sense of failure and despair, does it? I am glad for you that you have been able to find alternative employment, albeit at a lower pay scale. Please know that my prayers for you and all who are struggling in this economy are unceasing.

      I wish to add my voice to the call for government to take a pay cut before doing anything else. I was insulted when the Premier refused to cut her $4000+ per week salary while saying in the same breath that she felt the pain of the rest of us.

      @ PwndDwg: your suggestion that “we can’t expect the country’s largest employer to make thousands redundant overnight. But we can expect them to commit to and implement a plan to do so over 5 years. We can also expect them to immediately cut salaries and eliminate expensive perks (especially GP-xxx hundred cars which would also relieve congestion and used car prices!)” gets my vote!!