OBA: ‘Cannot Spend Our Way Out Of Recession’

May 17, 2012

[Updated] The One Bermuda Alliance held a press conference this afternoon [May 17], with Leader Craig Cannonier and Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards speaking on the Ireland Island housing project.

Last week Minister of Public Works Michael Weeks announced the project, which he said would cost $36 million and be paid for by the West End Development Corporation, with Government providing a shortfall guarantee. The Minister said the  project is expected to take 18 month, and create in excess of 100 jobs

Minister Weeks said, “The project will be delivered in 2 phases with phase 1 seeing construction of 45 units on the property adjacent to the existing Victoria Row. Upon the completion of phase 1, the current sitting tenants from both Albert and Victoria Row will have the opportunity to move into the completed units.

“Phase 2 will see the demolishing of both Victoria and Albert Row and then completion of the remaining units. The development consists of a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms. Rents for these units will range between $1600 and $2,100 per month.”

Speaking today, Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier said, “The Minister’s statement was long on intentions but very short on specifics – leaving many questions unanswered about how this $36 million project is going to be paid for, and how it is going to work for people who already live there.

“Our first question is: Why is the Government continuing to build more housing when we know from conversations across the Island that there are hundreds of homeowners with empty apartments?

“With this project, the Government is moving into direct competition with Mr. and Mrs. Bermuda, who need the rental income from their apartments to meet their mortgage payments.

“We don’t need government competing with Mr. & Mrs Bermuda. This weakens the economy even further. It is unfair that the Government should be making their economic recovery more difficult. This is a Government simply out of touch.

“Our second concern is with the people who live along Victoria and Albert Row. We know some families welcome the idea of moving into a fresh new home some time in the future – and why shouldn’t they?

“But we also know that quite a few of the residents are extremely concerned and fearful that they will not be able to afford the rents of the proposed new units, let alone buy them. Some residents also maintain that the existing units are structurally sound and perfect for renovation.

“We would like the Minister to explain why he decided to demolish this historic housing instead of renovating them. This struck us as an opportunity to exercise responsible spending of the people’s money. Instead, we appear to be following the same path that got us into major problems in previous building projects.

Mr Cannonier continued on to say, “Bermuda already has enough so-called ‘affordable’ housing. What we don’t have enough of is housing for people who can’t afford ‘affordable’ housing. The Government once had a plan for a purpose-built facility to house the truly needy. But it was shelved for the new TCD building.

“It has said there are plans to renovate some old buildings as shelters, but there remains nothing in place for the truly needy. That is where the real housing need lies – with the truly needy – and that is the context in which the Ireland Island announcement should be seen,” concluded Mr Cannonier.

Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards said, “My first questions are: Where is the $36 million coming from? And why hasn’t the Government explained it? We know the Government doesn’t have it, and we know Wedco doesn’t have it. So, where is it coming from?

“And what is the deal? Someone is going to need to be paid for this scheme to work, so it’s important to know what commitments Bermuda has agreed to put in place.

“If the Government has to guarantee it, then it is taking on more debt. This will be $36 million on top of the more than a billion dollars it already owes, and on top of the $14 million the BHC has to borrow to pay for the latest phase of the Grant Atlantic housing project.

“The public should not be fooled into thinking that Wedco or BHC borrowing is not public debt. These are government entities, and it is taxpayers who are ultimately responsible for it.

“The Minister made some ambiguous statements about phasing this housing project, but the essence of the plan is to build 45 units for $36 million. That works out to a cost of $800,000 per unit. That’s an incredibly high cost, particularly for units that will be rented, as the Minister says, to ‘entry level’ income residents.

“At an average monthly rent of $1,850 per unit, it will take more than 50 years for Wedco to recoup the cost of these units, and that calculation does not include the cost of maintenance and interest.

“As my leader mentioned, every Member of Parliament and candidate for the next election knows from canvassing that there are residential vacancies all across the Island.

“A more practical and less costly alternative to the Minister’s plan would be to try to place the targeted families on Victoria and Albert Row in vacant units around the Island. They could be provided with rental subsidies where necessary to make them affordable.

“This approach would work if the existing units are considered to be no longer habitable. However the Minister’s statement did not say that so, again, we are left with questions.

“Another alternative is to renovate the existing units which, although old, are structurally sound. This would reduce the financial risk of construction and help tenants retain their existing monthly rent; something they are very keen to do.

“To conclude, and looking at this situation from the highest level, the Minister’s plan provides a stark contrast between the Government and the One Bermuda Alliance.

“We firmly believe that, as foreign earnings are the lifeblood of our economy, government and Bermuda cannot spend our way out of recession,” concluded Mr Richards.

Update 6.25pm: Minister Michael Weeks responded to the OBA, the full response is below.

The Hon. Michael Weeks, J.P., M.P, Minister of Public Works Clarifies WEDCO Redevelopment Project

The Hon. Michael Weeks today clarified several erroneous and misleading statements concerning the West End Development Corporation (WEDCO) redevelopment of housing and infrastructure made by the OBA during a press conference this afternoon.

While the OBA claimed that 45 houses would be built for $36 million, the actual number of units will be 100. In addition, the $36 million includes all costs associated with the project including architectural and planning costs, financing costs, infrastructure redevelopment (water and sewage) as well as the building of new units, and demolition and rebuilding of units at Victoria and Albert Rows. Phase one will consist of 48 units and phase 2 will consist of 52 units.

The OBA is also misleading in claiming that Government is paying for the development, when in fact WEDCO is securing all financing for this project directly on their balance sheet.

The OBA also claims that existing tenants will not be able to afford to buy the new units. This is inconsequential as the units will not be for sale.

Existing WEDCO tenants and those on the BHC waiting list will be moving into the units that will only be for rent. In addition, if tenants are having difficulty paying rent there are existing means within Government to provide assistance.

Rents are set below market rates. The new project will also afford additional savings through energy efficiency and centralized infrastructure distribution for sewage and water.

While the OBA claims it would be more cost effective to renovate the existing units which it claims are ‘structurally sound and perfect for renovation’, there is no evidence to back up this statement.

In actual fact, the units are plagued by termites, contain asbestos, have leaks in some roofs, and are overall in a very poor state of repair. To renovate the existing units would also entail evicting the tenants during the renovation period and alternative housing would have to be found for a minimum of six month.

In addition, the new homes and associated infrastructure work, including water and sewage treatment, embraces Government’s efforts to promote sustainable development across the island.

Minister Weeks concluded: “Perhaps if the OBA had come to me with their concerns I could have answered many of their questions rather than holding a press conference and disseminating mistruths and fabrications about this project that aims to help those in our society most in need of housing assistance.

WEDCO is going to provide sustainable, affordable housing for the people of Bermuda and to turn this into a political football is shameful.”

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  1. Public Works Minister Defends WEDCo Project | Bernews.com | May 29, 2012
  1. Itsaboutallofus says:

    So by Mr Richards saying we cannot spend our way out of the recession, he must be saying that he agrees in austerity measures. If he is in fact saying that, then he must agree with the methods taken by Greece, UK and other European countries. We can see that austerity measures have not succeeded in helping their economies to recover.

    • Mr Cranky says:

      Um. Just want to bring up a point that you appear to have missed.

      Greece is in a mess because its debt is enourmous. Spain is in a mess because its debt is enourmous. Germany, on the other hand, is not in a mess because its debt is moderate.

      And, as a matter of fact, Greece cannot spend its way out of its problems, because it cannot borrow any more money.

      Bermuda has not used ‘austerity’ measures. This government has spent money like crazy, and continues to do so. Yet we’re in recession anyway, and we have record unemployment, worsening crime, and financial scandals starting to emerge related to use of government funds.

      • Voice of Reason says:

        You really are cranky….

        1) I think Bermuda’s recession is likely over
        2) This is not record unemployment, its the same as the last recession Bermuda had
        3) When was the last time someone shot a gun? Worsening crime my ass
        4) No argument there, funny reading sometimes.

        The one thing is the Bermuda can still borrow money, and when rates are low it should to support the economy.

        • Hypocrites says:

          1) Then you don’t know anything about economics
          2) Unemployment is higher than the early ’90s as facts always beat out rhetoric
          3) Name another time or span of years where gun crime has been this high
          4) Glad to see that some of you PLP supporters find taking from the taxpayer as funny and humorous

        • Mad Dawg says:

          1. If the recession is nearly over, why keep borrowing and spending then? Isn’t needed, is it? If the recession is “nearly over”.

          2. If unemployment is not a problem, no need for the government to borrow and spend. If everything is fine?

          3. Murder rate in Bermuda last year was twice the world average. To most of us, that is a crime problem. To the families of murdered people, for example. Perhaps thevpolitical elite don’t care about those people.

        • Family Man says:

          I assume that was sarcasm….. but in Bermuda. sometimes I’m not really sure.

    • Voice of Reason says:

      They don’t have a clue. They couldn’t find a candidate to rollout, so they got in front a camera and made up some dumb stuff to say.

    • GMS says:

      UK Govt spending in billions of pounds.

      First number is GDP – Second Column is the Govt’s actual spending (2012 projected)

      2001 1021.83 362.57 a
      2002 1075.56 384.93 a
      2003 1139.75 415.21 a
      2004 1202.96 451.50 a
      2005 1254.06 488.31 a
      2006 1325.8 502.56 a
      2007 1398.88 543.96 a
      2008 1448.39 575.68 a
      2009 1395.87 621.51 a
      2010 1453.62 660.60 a
      2011 1526.5 683.43 a
      2012 1602.8 703.38 g

      http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/spending_chart_2001_2015UKb_11s1li111mcn_F0t

      Where exactly do you see austerity on the part of the UK government? I always thought austerity and cuts actually meant… austerity and cuts! Don’t believe the rhetoric. Look at the actual data – numbers and math don’t lie.

      So the popular idea that we shouldn’t embrace austerity because the UK has and look at them… well, let’s put that cannard to bed.

    • GVT Mechanic says:

      Mr Richards is not saying anything about austerity measures! he is stating a simple fact – neither Government, nor Wedco, have the money to do this. So where is it coming from?

      • Family Man says:

        I think the pension plans still have a few dollars in them. We can call it an investment. Diversification and all.

  2. Voice of Reason says:

    Oh Jesus, here we go again, the OBA are now against providing jobs and employment and want people to live in slums.

    Well done OBA. Why are you at war with Bermudians.

    • Come correct says:

      Why is the plp at war with the oba? Oh right because you can’t get back at whitey without power. I’ve personally been in a few of these places and they aren’t slums unless you personally keep your house that way and last time I checked you don’t renovate something into a slum, but ignore the actual points they made and support the black beret cadres takeover of our island to the death… Definitely another world.

      • Voice of Reason says:

        is there something wrong with the BBC?

        • Come Correct says:

          Black beret cadre or British Broadcasting Company?

          • Family Man says:

            There’s certainly something wrong with the Bermuda Broadcasting Company.

      • LMAWTFO says:

        Stop lying! I’ve been to these places to. I have family that lived in one of em and I can say that the whole Albert Row is crap!! It needs to be demolished and rebuilt!!

        • Come correct says:

          Just because the paint is coming off doesnt mean you have to re-build. Just because your gate is falling off its hinges doesnt mean you have to re-build the unit. Take your thumb out of your bum and fix it, re-building the complex wont re-build your pride. Plus id take 16 inch stone walls over cliff side views any day.

    • Sad Truth says:

      The real issue here is that you PLP Socialists are hopeless! Unfortunately you just don’t seem to have the minimum amount of intellect required to understand basic economics. As a country we are doomed if the electorate doesn’t figure this out and send you all packing, and soon ..

      Keep telling them Bob, again and again until it sinks in – with any luck before we’re a third world country.

  3. Man in the Mirror says:

    Hey its the Bob n Craig Show. I wonder if Craig knows what Bob really thinks of him as the leader of the OBA.
    Oh well at least it looks good on paper.

  4. terry says:

    You tell um ET.

  5. Come correct says:

    Excellent points guys, but my one question is to Mr. Cannonier…what’s in Bobs ear? Looks interesting lol

  6. LaVerne Furbert says:

    I bet my bottom dollar that neither Mr. Cannonier nor Mr. Richards have spoken to any one of the residents.

    I think the best thing that I’ve read today is “As my leader mentioned, every Member of Parliament and candidate for the next election knows from canvassing that there are residential vacancies all across the Island.” That’s Mr. Richards referring to his leader Mr. Cannonier, whom he a few months back referred to as a “colt”. Oh, what a difference a day makes!

    • Hypocrites says:

      Jennifer Smith definitely knows “what a difference a day makes” I imagine as well

    • GVT Mechanic says:

      Ms Furbert, with respect, please look at the comments of residents after Minister Weeks announcement – at least two state that they would rather stay where they are and have the property renovated.

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        You mean those anonymous posters for the OBA? I only saw one person who posted who claimed to be a tenant, and their remarks read very much like the remarks made by Larry Burchall in his column yesterday.

        “I live in one of the Victoria Row Units, all that is required for the renovation is: rewiring, windows replaced,roofs fixed and a good coat of paint on the outside. These units were constructed in the 1800′s to house Bermudian Dockyard workers, they have 16″ walls and have withstood many hurricanes. At the moment they have a few units vacant which could be completely renovated, as each unit is renovated they can put existing tenents in them while they renovate theirs and so on. Why is Wedco so anxious to demolish these beautiful homes and part of our Bermudian History.”

        Anyone that’s had renovations completed on their home will know that there’s little difference in the cost from building from scratch.

        • Come Correct says:

          Seriously what are you smoking? A case of beer and some friends accomplishes alot more than any paid construction team (please say construction workers dont drink). Labour is what makes it so expensive, but not nearly as much as building from scratch, or are you talking about more of those nasty prefab buildings? Ever watched the DIY shows?(although we now have youtube and clearly not everyone is capable) You would be surprised what just a coat of paint can do, and wtf cant put paint on a wall?

        • SpecialGIrl4You says:

          I wonder if Larry Burchall and the other OBA/UBP folks would move in one as it is today? I doubt it, they would want it to rebuilt and updated…I am sure….

          • jt says:

            They might even pay for it.

          • jt says:

            ‘sup Betty?

          • Mad Dawg says:

            Er, i remember a well-known PLP Premier who had an exclusive beachfront house with a $60,000 alsrm system paid for by taxpayers, 24 hour armed guards paid for by security, and beautiful cedar beams

  7. Voice of Reason says:

    “A more practical and less costly alternative to the Minister’s plan would be to try to place the targeted families on Victoria and Albert Row in vacant units around the Island. They could be provided with rental subsidies where necessary to make them affordable.”

    Ahh yes. Government, put them in private housing, and pay the difference so that I can keep my 4th investment home. That’s really the thinking of these lot.

    Nothing about the person with no homes, just look for ways to try to help those who really don’t need help on the backs of those who do.

    Thanks for clearing that up OBA.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Investment homes? Are you thinking of LaVerne, Ewart, Zane, those rich elite people?

  8. #Gotta be kiddn me... says:

    OBA will never get my vote simply bcos they approve of austerity measures.. God forbid us all if they form the next government…

    • Honestly says:

      I agree! They complain with no real plan anyway! Not enough for me to consider OBA as a likely party for myself to support!

      • mrwiggin says:

        The opposition has no responsibility to publicize an alternative plan as they are the opposition. Before the election is called, why would they give their good ideas to the PLP just so they can be stolen? They will be more public with their notives once the election is called.

  9. GVT Mechanic says:

    Gosh some people on here talk total nonsense!

    Nowhere are austerity measured mentioned, and neither is supporting peoples fourth investment homes!

    Most people bought a second home as a retirement plan or investment, they are not making millions out of the rental income by any means – and some that I know depend on the rental income as they have lost thier jobs. Mr Richards is right – we have landlords on the island that are struggling because they have no income to cover their mortgages etc We should be helping those in most need rather than building MORE empty units!

    A bigger question – when was this scheme tendered? How much did the deisgn cost and was the design tendered amongst our Architect firms? Who decided that these “pre-fab” designs are cheaper – and was their competition amongst pre-fab manufacturers to decide the best value for money. And finally – if these are pre-cast homes they will need specialist installation, do we have the home grown labor skills to do this? Or will the money all go abroad?

    • Family Man says:

      I think he was talking about LaVerne’s houses. You know, the one’s she refuses to rent to people who are gay.

  10. Baffled says:

    Just when i’m having a good day, these clowns show up on my RSS Feed.

    1) Jobs for Bermudians are a good thing OBA. You want jobs, what are you complaining about?
    2) Housing for Bermudians is a good thing OBA.. All you lot do is complain!
    3) I don’t need the government to start paying private sector rents, that makes no sense!

    Where do they come up with stuff?

  11. Hypocrites says:

    I say renovate the pre-fabs down in Dockyard as the existing tenants will be provided with an up-to-date dwelling while also retaining a part of BDA’s history.

    Then with Govt assistance identify struggling home owners who are in arrears due to loss of rental income. From there Govt should seek to ensure that the landlords provide affordable rent (something similar to rent control) for the individuals who cannot afford market price rent and also guarantee any shortfalls from the tenants if they do not pay. This surely has to be a lot cheaper than $36 million we really can’t afford.

    That benefits the home owner, the person looking to rent, the Government itself (via savings and gaining support from the people that it has assisted) as well as financial institutions to whom monies is owed via issued mortgages that are currently delinquent.

    By simply building more supply will saturate an already over-saturated market. I mean look at Grand Atlantic and how fast (sarcasm) they are selling.

    I hope most of you realize that this initiative is geared solely towards renters and not potential buyers in the lower income brackets. So this argument that the OBA is happy to block access to the less fortunate in gaining their own homes is a straw man argument as they will be simply paying a monthly rent t0 WEDCO (with no option to buy).

    But I know most of you are just worried about the messenger and you are more than willing to watch BDA sink before your eyes before admitting that Government does not always get it right. Party before country once again. So sad.

    • Come Correct says:

      I agree completelely besides the fact if the government did provide a shortfall guarentee for the tenants if they didnt pay, there needs to be a well written law put in place to stop abuse of this, kinda like the TCD law for seniors, the one now being revised, not saying the tenants are untrustworthy but really, its human nature.

    • Amazed says:

      The government has no obligation to support homeowners who cannot attract tenants because the rent is too high. That is the banks or lending institution’s problem. If they took a risk lending the money based in part on expected income from a rental unit then it is they (the banks etc) who should be seeking solutions to assisting homeowners in trouble.

      • Hypocrites says:

        Obviously you did not read the part where I said that any homeowner that agrees to become part of the scheme has to accept the rental figure imposed on them for such assistance (i.e. a form of rent conrol).

        So you think by building even more houses in an already saturated market and destroying what little green space is left on the island as well as spend another $60 million (cause you know overruns is inevitable)of tax payers money is the only solution for this issue?

  12. feel the love says:

    Providing low cost, cheap looking, prefab housing right at the doorstep to dockyard is just brilliant! Exactly what all the tourists want for their first glimpse of Bermuda. Actually goes right along with the lovely view of the prison. Watch all the tourists come by the thousands! (all sarcasm)

  13. Vote OBA – Your problems will go away…

  14. terry says:

    It all boils down to the fact that Bermuda and certains are throwing away heritage.

    Somerset and St. George have the most. Old Naval and historic buildings.

    Greed by some has already killed the goose.

    Eating it will leave no taste in the mouths that suckle.

  15. nuts says:

    not too many can say they are better off today by using all their senses thank God the sun still shines for free!

  16. Tolerate says:

    O.k. now I’m totally lost. As I don’t follow either party and am simply looking for solutions from our leaders to get Bermuda back on track, I don’t see what the issue is to the questions being asked. I keep hearing the OBA does not have a plan and simply just complain about everything the Government does; well is that NOT what the majority of Bermuda is doing (minus the PLP followers who will not admit to anything their party does wrong; which they later go back and change). Good points have been made and hopefully, we can have some-thing positive come from it.
    I hear LaVerne Furbert mention that she bets they never spoke to one of the residents? “That’s Mr. Richards referring to his leader Mr. Cannonier, whom he a few months back referred to as a “colt”. Oh, what a difference a day makes!” Mrs. Furbert you have represented Bermuda as a part of Government and this is what you have left to offer when you comment?
    VOR says I “THINK” Bermuda’s recession is likely over????? When was the last time some-one shot a gun???? Guess that means we no longer have crime or debt…. Problems solved!!!
    “OBA at war with Bermudians?” They are the opposition, and their job is to question the Government on behalf of Bermuda; “WHO WANTS TO KNOW!” As Government the PLP should get used to being questioned on decisions made as their track record of late has not been exactly spotless.
    And NO, I care not of the record of the Government before them. I ELECTED THEM AS MY NEW GOVERNMENT. IT IS NOW THEIR JOB.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      Tolerate, you want to get Bermuda back on track? Which track are you talking about. The only “track” before the PLP was the UBP. Do you want to go back to that track?

      • Come Correct says:

        The one where we grow as a country silly.

      • Mad Dawg says:

        Full employment, low crime, nil debt. Um, yes, pre-2000 or so. Thanks for reminding us LaVerne.

      • jt says:

        A track would be nice though, no? Something that leads somewhere other than a cliff anyway.

      • Tolerate says:

        Mrs. Furbert, I refer to getting back on track to becoming successful and one of the leading countries in the WORLD. That’s what Bermuda should be striving for and settling for less is not good enough. This does not require being PLP or OBA. Unfortunately, you only see in two dimensions; how things are, and how things used to be. To move forward in life you have to be able to use this knowledge and move forward to the future together as a people. Maybe I’m dreaming of a Bermuda that can coexist as black, white, PLP and OBA. Maybe I’m some-one who does not see others success and get jealous or envious that it should be me because of my color or affiliation.
        Guess I’m happy for just being blessed to live in what used to be paradise and becoming pissed off that it is fast becoming something else.

  17. smh says:

    Easy for them to say,
    THEY ALL HAVE JOBS!!!!!!!

    IF THEY WERE TO LOSE THEIR JOBS THEY WOULD ALL BE COMPLAINING ABOUT NOT ENOUGH SOCIAL ASSISTANCE!

  18. hmmm says:

    My question is does craig ever say anything?

  19. Argosy says:

    The newly elected French Cabinet just took a 30% (that’s thirty percent) pay cut..

    Put that proposal in your manifesto, Craig and it’ll be a landslide!

    Do it quick though, or the Cog will beat you to it…..yeah, right!!

  20. SpecialGIrl4You says:

    One of their political advisor Mr. Larry Burchall told them to speak out in regards to this issue….followed by Uncle Bob that wrote a line for Mr. Cannioner to read aloud…….followed by Uncle Bob spreading his conservative government agenda….cut govt jobs, make it smaller, cut child care, cut jobs, cut housing, cut everything…….do not spent any money on the people….let them fall flat if need be…….. But let all foreigners come in and stay, with no time restrictions, .OBA/UBP is a “conservative government”, and you know what that means……….little given to assist the people.

    • jt says:

      Betty – There might be a few soties on RG that require your attention. Better hop on over – no?

    • Family Man says:

      Wow, I take my hat off to you. You really take stupid to a whole new level.

    • Goose says:

      And what really has the PLP given to assist the people?

      Cuts the funding to Sunshine League, yet pays PHC/BIU $10mil to rent PHC field for schoolchildren when TN Tatem has a field that you can hit with a stone from PHC field.

      Seniors paying Land Tax and Car Licensing fees, while good Comrades are given lucrative consultancy deals, no bid tenders and told to bill what they like regardless of whether 17 or 23 have been built.

      Destroying the future viability of the pensions fund while taking only a token pay cut, abusing expense accounts and doing grand world tours to further private business interests in places like India.

      The PLP track record is phenomenal on properly allocating money to those that need it as opposed to keeping it in the party. Incestuous financial relationships have led to the $1.5bil hole that we will be in by the end of this fiscal year. The PLP couldn’t give a flying fox about what’s happening to the common Bermudian, as long as the individual players make theirs and are able to head to the islands or US with their moneybags when it hits the fan.

      Only way that I can see anyone supporting the PLP at this point is if they are directly profiting or if they buy into the rhetoric that there will be a return to slavery if the OBA get in.

  21. More with less says:

    I cant fathom that people dont comprhend the basics. It is truly scary.

  22. SpecialGIrl4You says:

    OBA will do nothing for the people, as Conservative governments often do not, since they are just the UBP in OBA clothing, nothing will change. In fact persons will suffer more under such a government, as Conservative governments do not believe in investment of the people. They believe people should sink or swim. So people are intelligent, and they know the difference. It is ony those Conservative OBA/UBP folks that fail to see the entire picture…..”return to OBA is returning to UBP”…….NO CHANGE………………

    looks like Uncle Bob is schooling Craig…….the colt……

    • Mr Cranky says:

      You’re worried about people suffering? Do you think people are suffering in Greece right now?

      Why do you think they are?

      Is it because the government there was exceptionally careful with finance, or because the government there spent money uncontrollably?

    • More with less says:

      News Flash: People are currently under a PLP government “sinking or swimming”.

    • star man says:

      Pure Propaganda.

  23. Joe says:

    Gosh, I wish we had the UBP back! 30 years of prosperity sounds pretty good about now.

  24. LOL (original TM*) says:

    Threads like this one show that the OBA should deffinately get my vote and will. Espesially if the PLP blogg squad on here is a good representitive of the PLP mind set. Either they believe in the falsehood they spout as “facts” or they are stright up lying. Not once in here do they really attempt to take on the message but slam the messenger and by extention the voters that may not support the PLP. These are the same tactics from 2007 the PLP are incapable of change as they are the UBP ver 2.0 and the upgrade really was a wrose downgrade as they show all of the signs the UBP showed when they where voted out in 98.

    LOL the PLP (black beret carda born out of rasism)continue to practice the ways of the past which will only keep and further divide the country. What’s funny is that they can’t even see it.

    • WasBlindButNowISee says:

      I couldn’t agree more. These blind comments don’t even consider the arguments, and facts rationally (they refuse to put aside party lines and consider the issues at hand, but what else is new!?). The recession is anything but over, I know…I’m unemployed. And even if it was why do these people think its okay to keep borrowing money we cannot pay back instead of doing the obvious and that is stop spending so much, and stretch what you do spend. BTW Bermuda’s situation has nothing to do with Greece; If anything its a warning to us not to continue to go into such great debt, so that we won’t have to make awful cuts like they do.

      The important facts in this matter are: 1)the government doesn’t have the money (forget Wedco). 2)There is a surplus of housing in bermuda with the ‘exodus’ of expats that have left. (so yes this is competition for bermudians with apartments…especially low rent apartments…) 3)these are historic buildings, that fact must be taken into account, or do we not have any pride for our heritage anymore? 4)Consider the location of the proposed development -its going to be incredibly hard to draw people to live out there…but guess who wants to provide the shortfall guarantee? Government 5)this housing project doesn’t address the most urgent need of those who cannot afford the basics like paying rent and electricity. More and more people are in desperate need, our soup kitchens and feeding programs are over-whelmed. The truly desperate are still being left out with this housing plan after a ‘projected’ $36M of spending! How is that something we want to advocate and cheer on? Why would we not question it?

      Also consider:
      Since the exodus of talented, bright, caring, community supporting hard-working expats (and their money spending families) will continue for the foreseeable future…tell Mr. Weeks there will be over 52 units available for rent in what I predict to be less than 18 months so no need to build or renovate. He has his colleague Burch to thank for that initiative.

      I pray people really stop and think, reflect on these past few years, REMEMBER what life has turned into here (some of us have seen the light and crossed over!). Before the next election, clear your head of all the gossip, small talk, and focus on the facts…because bermuda’s economy, her people and government purse cannot survive a round 3 of this. Nor can I.

  25. hmm says:

    Part of me wants the OBA to win just so all the PLP haters and OBA loyalists see exactly what they will do to the country.
    Cut civil service jobs, cut social assistance, cut housing opportunities.
    I mean how else r they gonna cut those hundreds of millions and not affect the everyday person.

    • More with less says:

      By not letting civil servants steal $500,000 from out under their nose, by not allowing cost overruns to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, by getting rid of people that don’t really work for their government paycheck, by getting rid of workers and W&E that are at a job site sitting on the side of the road not working, by not traveling like a circus, by not letting every government employe have a gp car, by not hiring consultants to the job they are paid to do? Just a few suggestions that don’t involve anything you suggest above:)

      • SpecialGIrl4You says:

        @More with Less……………..Really, you are living in a dream world. OBA can not do anything more,,,,,there somethings that people will do no matter how tight the regulations are in place to prevent such actions….so wishful thinking OBA fan. The current government has put some extremely good regulations and policies into place…but human nature always can find away around it…thats just life…so do not sit there thinking OBA will make Bermuda feel like heaven…it will not…..OBA are conservative and at best will do nothing for the people of Bermuda…except make huge cuts across the board…as conservative governments do not like to spent money…..but it does not matter to them, as most of their supporter are upper middle class white folks…they have it all….heck about the average Joe Blow……thats a conservative OBA/UBP for ya…………………

  26. Barracuda says:

    incompetence , ignorance , PLP.