Video: UBP’s Kim Swan On Budget

February 24, 2012

[Updated] Speaking this morning [Feb.24] after the Premier delivered the 2012/13 Budget, United Bermuda Party Interim Leader Kim Swan said it “was more of a rhetorical presentation” as it had a lot of “well sounding words”.

Mr Swan said he will be examining the Budget to see if there has been any “belt tightening”, as the Budget is about the numbers.” He also said he was disappointed that there was not an “empowerment to the private sector via a Tourism Authority.”

Update 8.06pm: In an additional statement, Kim Swan and Charlie Swan said, “There was a profound statement told to me during the 1991 recession by former St. George’s Golf Course Chairman David Frith “If you ‘CANNOT’ make your income targets save it in expenditure”

“Whilst the 2012/13 Budget Statement delivered by Premier Cox struck a good tone which parallels the mood in Bermuda, in scrutinising revenue and expenditure the necessity to practice disciplined spending in Bermuda has not been taken up by the Plp government.

“We anticipated that the government borrowing would continue but we respectfully feel that the government has placed itself under great strain projecting a current account loss for yet another year.

“We note that current account expenditure of $1.005 billion does not reflect any % savings over the original budget of the previous year.

“We also point out that revenues are estimated to fall below expenditure by ($24.383) million. We must express concern at this estimate because:

  • 1. The previous years revised revenue projections are $70 million lower than projected; whilst
  • 2. expenditure follows the opposite trend and expenditure is 69 million over what was originally estimated ($900.949 million) in 2011/12.

“The net effect is the budget differential is $139 million out of line because government underperformed raising revenue and continued to overspend on the projected expenditure budgets. This repeated trend must stop !

“The Premier and Finance Minister has been able to put together a reasonable budget against the challenge of diminished reserves and with the assistance of continued borrowing.

“But Bermuda cannot sustain this and the empowerment of the Private sector is vital.

“This budget did not make an essential move to lower expenditure below projected revenue. Hence, the government missed an opportunity to challenge itself to function leaner.

“For its role government must pledge to live within its means and do all it can to rejuvenate private enterprise to enable them to become Bermuda’s largest employer by far,” concluded the statement by the two UBP MPs.

View all our coverage of the 2012/13 Budget here.

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