OBA: Debt Payments Causing Service Cutbacks

November 21, 2012 | 81 Comments

[Updated with video] Debt interest payments are now one of the largest single spending items in the Government’s budget and they are the reason the Government has been cutting back important public services, OBA candidate Nandi Davis said today [Nov 21].

Ms Davis said: “Debt interest payments are now one of the largest single spending items in the Government’s budget – behind Education and Healthcare.

“They are why teachers have been laid off, why there are fewer police on the streets, why the Sunshine League was closed, why Mirrors was cut back and why the Family Centre is getting less support.

“As a mother with a young son, I am very concerned with what’s happening, but I am even more concerned about what’s to come. The Government appears to have lost control of its finances. Every year, what we owe is getting bigger, not smaller.”

Ms Davis’ full statement follows below:

Yesterday my colleague Alexis Swan talked about how serious youth unemployment has become for young Bermudians today – with nearly 4 in 10 out of work.

This morning I would like to talk about a serious problem young Bermudians will face tomorrow – and that is the billion-dollar debt built up by this Government in just a few short years.

A lot of people talk about the debt as Government debt, but it’s really the people’s debt because we are ultimately responsible for paying it off – in the form of taxes.

Since 2005, our debt has grown more than 700 per cent. It is now approaching $1.5 billion, which is a lot for 60,000 people.

But it’s going to get worse.

For the fifth straight year, the Government is spending more than it takes in, and it is now borrowing to pay people’s salaries and operating expenses. That’s like a householder borrowing money to pay for groceries. It’s not sustainable.

Borrowing so much money also costs a lot of money.

This year the Government is sending at least $85 million to foreign creditors just to pay for the interest on its debt.

That’s a huge amount of money.

Debt interest payments are now one of the largest single spending items in the Government’s budget – behind Education and Healthcare.

They are the reason the Government has been cutting back important public services. They are why teachers have been laid off, why there are fewer police on the streets, why the Sunshine League was closed, why Mirrors was cut back and why the Family Centre is getting less support.

As a mother with a young son, I am very concerned with what’s happening, but I am even more concerned about what’s to come.

The Government appears to have lost control of its finances. Every year, what we owe is getting bigger, not smaller.

Today, my son’s share of the Government’s debt is about $32,000. If nothing changes, by the time he is 21, his share of the debt will tens of thousands more.

I don’t want my son and his peers living in a Bermuda weighed down by a debt; where the potential to support their dreams and ambitions come second to the demands of foreign creditors; where the potential for everyone to achieve social and economic equity is impaired by interest payments.

This Government has been spending like there’s no tomorrow, but I have news for them: There is a tomorrow, and it is the tomorrow of my son, and all the people of his generation.

It’s time for change.

It’s time for a government that puts the people of Bermuda first – first by being straight about the challenges we face.

This Government will not talk straight about the debt problem they’ve created. There was barely a mention of it in its Throne Speech, even though it affects all its planning.

Bermuda can’t afford five more years of this head-in-the-sand behaviour.

It is time for a government that tackles our problems head-on – that sets out the challenges we face – and, most importantly, has a plan for addressing them.

I am really pleased that Bob Richards is here today because I have watched him and his economic team work on the problem of debt and growth.

The OBA plan recognizes we have to grow the economy to pay down the debt, but also that we have to end wasteful government spending. It’s a plan that will get Bermuda back on its feet.

The Government has no plan. Instead, they appear content to kick the problem down the road onto the backs of young Bermudians.

They are living only for today, and saddling a future that is not theirs to decide.

As the mother of a young son I have a problem with that. As a Bermudian who wants a bright future for my country, we must do better.

It’s time for change.

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Comments (81)

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  1. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    And yet the government has just purchased several new cars - at $90,000 (that is ninety thousand dollars) a pop!!! Based on the figures provided yesterday, that is almost 3 years salary for a young person, just for one car!!

    I ask you - is a car a luxury or a necessity? Is a new car, as opposed to s second-hand car, a luxury or a necessity? Is a $90K car a luxury or a necessity? Is a car a greater priority than work for a young person?

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    • Obvious says:

      My question is WHY do they need their own cars? Only the Premeir should have a car or is this considered a PERK. Still shocked at the W&E vehicle. smh

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    • We are now in SIMPLE season!! says:

      Are you ppl serious!! $90,000 for a LUXURY car have you seen the brand of car it is?? No I am not defending PLP but come on ppl BUY a clue. Supporters from both sides are being random!! UNTIL God is put back in HIS rightful place over this nation no matter who is in political power we will in for challenging times!

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      • Pastor Syl Hayward says:

        I am not trying to be random. I don't want to buy a clue.BPS and the Quarry just got new vehicles. I want to know why it is priority that we buy new vehicles at this time and why we need to buy at the top tier for vehicles which will be dinged and subject to rust at the Quarry.

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        • frank says:

          first of all why don't you ask grant gibbons about the cars as most of them come from ford motors i don;t hear him complainig.

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    • Victor says:

      Speaking of Ministerial Cars - Government Ministers are employees like the rest of us and I very much doubt that their agenda is any more difficult than that of anybody in IB, Banking, Medicine, etc. If all the rest of us with families, kids, etc can get by on one vehicle, surely Ministers too should adhere to both the letter and intent of the law (which is I gather to minimize road congestion)rather than granting themselves ludicrous, obscene and wholly unnecessary perks.

      Speaking of cars, here is a suggestion that might drum up a few more tourists - I am utterly convinced that many families do not holiday here because they cannot rent a car. Let's let our tourists rent a car and maybe we will get a few more. Perhaps the Government fleet could be sold off to one of the cycle liveries for this purpose.

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      • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

        Pastor Syl , when will the leader of the OBA have a debate on the issues facing our country with the leader of the PLP ?

        We need answers , and Your party leader is just the person to ask the hard questions . Now more then ever we need the absolute best people to lead us . Step up to the plate OBA leader , and convince the undecided that clearly , you are the best person for the job . Do it for yourself , Do it for your party . Do it for Bermuda . End this horrible recession . Put Bermudians and the world back to work .

        One more thing Paster Syl , please direct me on the charity I should give to this year ? I don't have much , but I'm willing to share what I can .

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  2. You cant be serious says:

    Ms. Davis what exactly is this OBA/UBP plan? Does this plan include cutting hundreds of civil service jobs? How about giving us straight forward plans on how you intend to tackle this debt. People want real answers not the same BS " we have a plan"....
    If the OBA/UBP are looking to bring in voters stop putting these Puppets infront of the media and give us some actual Substance!!!

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    • Who Done it says:

      Should you not ask the question to BOTH Parties and Independents? Are you saying the PLP has a plan for the Debt? I have not seen it. This is what will happen if the PLP get back in the Civil Service will have to be cut because of the debt. Either they will do it themselves or it will be forced on them probably the latter.

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    • Rockfish #1 says:

      While on the subject of plans, what the average man in the street wants to know is, what plan does the Government have to improve the pitiful condition of our economy? No flowery speeches,(aka BS) no worn out cliches, no passing the buck, just the simple unvarnished truth. They had no problem with getting us in this big black hole, now it is their job to get us out--plain and simple!

      Why spend so much time shooting the messenger? Fix the damn problems!

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    • Pastor Syl Hayward says:

      @ you cant be serious: The OBA plan is available for all to read on their web site www.oba.bm. They have said repeatedly that they will not cut Future Care and they will not cut civil service jobs, but it doesn't matter how frequently it is repeated, the same question arises like the phoenix.

      What I want to see is the PLP plan, especially with regard to tackling the debt. If there isn't one, I wish they'd say so instead of trying to deflect and redirect.

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      • street wise says:

        How can the plp solve problems that they deny exist?

        The plp have to admit that they have a problem before they can fix it

        And we all know the plp are not mature enough to admit to their serious shortcomings.

        And seeing that everything is tickety-boo according to the plp, nothing will change if they regain power.

        Vote widely. If you want change.

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      • Renee says:

        Sylvia, please tell us how the OBA intends to reduce the debt without any cuts, particularly of the Civil Service which is the biggest expense of the Government. Michael Dunkeley is already on record saying that they will reduce the Civil Service. Has this position changed for the election?

        Re the PLP's plan, there is the Throne Speech of November 9th. which is a public document, a Ten Point Plan which is a public document, the PLP Accomplishments ( which will help to see how debt was incurred).
        I hope this helps. Otherwise, stay tuned for the Party election platform which will show it's plan for the upcoming term. The OBA no doubt will do the same. I hope this helps.

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  3. Out of flight says:

    How silly of the OBA. The OBA knows that every country has seen cut-backs. It is simple arithmetic. The OBA would do the same.

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  4. haha says:

    So does the OBA/ Miss Davis think the government shouldn't have invested in certain projects?
    If so, which ones?
    Did the media ask her?

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    • JOE says:

      How about the 'investment' in rapidly expanding our civil service to a size that is now unaffordable?

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    • navin johnson says:

      yes they should not have invested in the projects that were massively over budget with $10,000 a week cranes that cost $1,000 and projects where friends and family enriched themselves at the taxpayers expense...they are all out there...how about that crumbling overpriced cruise terminal for one....how abou Grand Atlantic? but why bother as you really know the answers but do not have the courage to admit and would rather continue down the silly OBA/UBP mantra that you have been instructed to use.....

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    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      Perhaps it would have been an idea to avoid the 'investments' in overseas consultants, which ran at $100,000,000 A YEAR under Paula Cox?

      Or the $160,000 "investment" backhanded to Pastor Leroy Bean in return for a secret 'report' that he wrote to provide advice to himself?

      Or the $10m+ "invested" in overruns at TCD.

      That kind of thing.

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  5. Amazed says:

    I agree this daily puppet show is becomming OLD!!

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    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      Er, no. Yesterday we had the Mackai Dickerson muppet show. That's all the PLP has to offer...childish muppet shows.

      Now, if you're done with the stupid coments, what is the PLP planning to do about the debt.

      crickets....

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  6. CHEEKUMS BIE says:

    HE HAS THE FOOTAGE…this woman Ms Davis is rude and this is not to bring hurt to the OBA at all but if I am to vote for a Ms Davis then she should respect me as a voter as well..
    Today on Reid st up the street from music box a group of men called out to Alexis Swan and was trying to engage her in a political discussion….the man said “Ms. Swan you shouldn’t do them like that, they have done something for the youth” Referring to what the PLP had said about what they have done for the youth…Ms Alexis Swan handled it in a very professional manner she smiled and gestured that she has somewhere to go and could not stop to converse…However right behind her was Ms Davis who when the man was speaking to Ms Swan ..in a dignified manner not rude..
    Ms Davis who was at her car..
    turns up nose at the gentleman and makes an angry face and rudely in an undignified manner SHOUTS..”NAME ONE!..HUH?!! ..NAME ONE!...NAME ONE!..then makes the pshhhhhht noise ”…Then she gets in her black mazda wit the black and red rims and drives off….
    Needless to say we were stunned at her reaction and to make it funny the gentleman did not even know who ms Davis was he thought she was just being rude until he found out who she was and was even more appalled at her actions…One white person said WHO WITNESSED and I quote “I am stunned at her actions and I am a OBA supporter if she was in my constituency I would not vote for her based off of that”
    Ms Davis is this how you as a OBA representative handle your electorates, and you rudely ask a question and turn you back on the response…... Well the DryWall programme is one amongst others.

    All of this was tapped via Iphone he said he will upload it on youtube

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    • You cant be serious says:

      The OBA selection process is a scam.... The funny thing is those in her generation have known this side for years!!! Not surprising at all.

      Vote OBA ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!

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    • Bermyman says:

      A group of men heckled some young women and got an adverse response! Wow that is strange!

      At the same time, Why are people randomly filming young women in the street?? Sounds like this group of men maybe perverts?

      "Needless to say we were stunned at her reaction and to make it funny the gentleman did not even know who ms Davis was he thought she was just being rude until he found out who she was and was even more appalled at her actions…"

      If he did not know who she was why is he calling out to her and filming?

      Weird!

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      • CHEEKUMS BIE says:

        you are a first class idiot... there wasnt no heckling of anykind

        secondly the phone wasnt recording until they was started trying to get Ms Swans response and attention and there was no whistling or any "HEY BABY OR HEY ACE GURL" TYPE OF TALK

        .. third he wasnt calling out to ms davis morrrrr ron he was calling out to ms swan....do you even read??? And this is the age of technology where a phone is pulled out faster than a pen and pad to record, the young ones is very good with this.

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        • Portia says:

          Heckling is any comment directed at a person to embarrass or get a rise out of them, so yes, they were heckling her. Don't excuse thier pathetic behaviour.

          If good behaviour is so important to you, I suggest you give your PLP MPs a stern talking to. I remember the fight that broke out between Burgess and Michael Scott back in June. And that was in the HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY of all places, not the streets of Hamilton! Very unprofessional, childish behaviour! They can't even respect one another, how I am supposed to believe they can respect the average person on the street?

          I also remember a certain Health Minister, not too long ago, feeling threatened when a man approached him in public asking questions - and he had that guy arrested! Why is it acceptable that a grown man should be protected from harrassment, but not a young woman from a group of men she doesn't know, and she is just being labelled as rude?

          Man, get a life.

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        • What? says:

          Just wondering how you and boys feel about elected representatives labelling members of the electorate as house ni$$ers, uncle toms, racist dogs etc.? Or how do you bies feel about MPs who hangs up on a talk show caller when she confirms she is of the lighter persuasion? I could go on....and on.

          I mean if you and mates were so outraged by this young lady's supposed reaction to your oh so civil demeanor, then you lot must've been outraged at the numerous examples of pure disrespect that various PLPs MPs, senators, members, supporters et al. I am assuming you guys also believe that this isn't acceptable behaviour and that in no way should such individuals should be in any seat of power.

          I mean you must, right?

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    • Bullseye says:

      If she is dealt with on the streets like the way she is treated in here then I understand the reaction. She has been ridiculed and attacked since she stepped up to the plate. If she says nothing she is window dressing, but if she says something she is a puppet. Now will she be stalked on the street with camera-phones at the ready?

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    • Um jus sayin.... says:

      Bang!!! This is the True Nandi Davis...not what you see in this press conference...all a front to manipulate the voter! When I witnessed her being rolled out, I thought she may have been someone else and had to ask someone to confirm because she exhibits this behavior on a regular, past life and now present, I couldn't believe she was putting her hat in the ring! Showing her true colors...OBA, did you do due diligence on your candidate or teaching her politics 101 isn't quite working for you!

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  7. More Confused says:

    @haha. It is generally accepted that if you add up the amounts spent on capital projects (infrastructure) then the PLP incurred around $500 million in debt. This would be acceptable, reasonable and invested wisely (ignoring the cost overruns). However, the debt is $1.4 billion and growing so what needs to be explained is where is the other $900 million? It has been spent on what the PLP like to call infrastructure but in fact is not infrastucture but costs which once spent have no further value. This includes salaries, handouts, expenses and other day to day costs. It's like you saying I'm investing $15,000 in a holday.
    Whover wins the elction is faced with a huge task in stopping borrowing money and finding money to rebuild so much of the infrastructure that needs replacing. The obvious first stop is the Civil Service, and that is the same whether PLP or OBA.

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    • Vote for Me says:

      @ More Confused
      The answer to the question can be determinined by looking at successive financial statements of the government. The Capital Expenditure includes at least the following:

      Cedarbridge, Berkeley, Airport Refurbishment, Housing Developments, The new Dame Browne Evans building, Cruise Ship terminal, Tynes Bay Upgrades, Sylvia Richards building, TCD emmissions and testing centers, a virtually new bus fleet, fast ferries, grants to various organizations, Port Royal Golf Course upgrade (these are capital developments)etc. We can then add free daycare, future care, free Bermuda College, several payroll tax concessions etc that represent outlays for social programs.

      I believe the public record will show that at least $800m to $1b represents capital development and the balance represents social type programs.

      I note the public comments that government should not have spent certain funds. The question remains - which items should not have been spent? The answer is important because it will give an indication of where the OBA will cut spending.

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      • Bullseye says:

        The overspend is the issue here. Spending on these projects was budgeted. Then the budget was completely ignored.

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      • Please Leave Politics says:

        Berkeley: Waste of money... cost overruns in the tens of millions... unfortunately producing too many students under prepared for college. Hopefully the OBA or PLP, whoever forms the next government stops making education political and gets on with the business of preparing our young people.

        Housing Developments: Loughlands: so far so good, Grand Atlantic: Grand Disaster... Southside: great facility... however if care is not given, it will quickly become a ghetto slum.

        Dame Browne Evans Building... finally a new police station... great! However more than $20 million over budget and the top brass have to rent offices across the street.

        Cruise Ship Terminal: Cost overruns in the multiple millions, already deteriorating, doesn't help Bermuda's systemic tourism problems... however, at least we generate some revenue from it, although very little.

        Sylvia Richards: Fantastic...

        TCD Emmissions: 300% cost overrun... it's incompetence...

        Bus fleet, fast ferries: Thank the BIU for their role in destroying Bermuda... also plagued with breakdowns and other problems

        Free day care: Some people do need assistance and this was a way of helping them... I'm not against help... but I don't support handouts. Help people to help themselves to better themselves!

        Free Bermuda College: Resulted in job losses at Bda college, several budget issues, staff paycuts, and is no longer available. Provide more scholarships and hold recipients accountable.

        Some of the money spent did some good for Bermuda. Too much was wasted, or spent on programs that were not carefully thought out.

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      • Zombie Apocalypse says:

        Vote For Me, why do you apologists always include Cedarbridge, Berkeley and the fast ferries? It makes you look like idiots. Cedarbridge was finished before the PLP took over. Berkeley was finished while Eugene Cox was still Finance Minster, and at that time the debt was at $160m or so. Berkeley was paid for out of income, and was all finished before the debt explosion. Samne with the Fast Ferries.

        NONE of those items had ANYTHING AT ALL to do with the current $1.4bn+ of debt.

        So let's add up the rest. The capital projects you list come to about $350m. So what happened to the other $1.1bn or so?

        On to the more important subject. When are the current leaders of the country going to state their financial plans? Are they going to let debt fester, or are they going to address it? If they are planning to address debt, what does that mean, exactly? The PLP has said NOTHING about its plans to address the economy and debt.

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        • Vote for Me says:

          @ Zombie Apocalypse
          You are making the same mistake as everyone else. Although Cedarbridge was completed under the UBP, the debt incurred to build it is part of the total debt currently outstanding. The Berkeley project was also partially funded through a portionof the existing debt.

          I may post later about the public comments on how the PLP prposes to reduce the debt but in summary it is a combination of containing expenditure and growing the economy

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          • Mad Dawg says:

            No, you're wrong. The debt for both those projects, such as it was, was included in the $170m or so of debt the country had in 2004. An amount which had been virtually unchanged for years. The explosion in debt took place after Paula Cox got the finance job, which was after Cbridge Berkeley and fast ferries were finished and paid for.

            You can't blame the $1.4bn on projects that were bought and paid for prior to 2003.

            The PLP has no idea how to grow the economy. Dawn Simmons doesn't even understand the concept of inflation. And you think they have any chance of containing expenditure? They can't even think in those terms. Two weeks ago they announced a slush fund for the PLP. All they can think about is where to give away money.

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        • @ zombie apocalypse..... Firstly....The Berkeley Institute was NOT finished in the Hon Euguene Cox era as he passed in 2004.....two years before the first phase of the school was finished. Students fully moved into the building 2006 Sept.

          Secondly, why everytime anyone, not just PLP supporters (and FYI to challenge the OBA does not make me a PLP supporter), challenges the PLAN to decrease debt, and which capital project would have been cancelled? which in the future will not be undertaken? why the OBA think civil servants do not have families to support and are steadily throw out CUTTING their jobs like its okay..... you supporters Quickly jump in to attack the PLP. I want answers to those important questions. Give the people of Bermuda the truth, since the steady claims of lies and non-transperancy.

          I'm waiting......and I haven't voted before so no party affliation. Just want to know both sides, sometimes you know the Devil you have but can be burned twice by the Devil you dont know. Like my parents without a job after December because they are civil servants.

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          • Mad Dawg says:

            In 2005/6 Bermuda's debt was $175.2m. By that time Berkeley, Cedarbridge, fast ferries were all paid for.

            So what was the other $1.2bn spent on? If you add up all of Vote For Me's list it's about $350m. What happened to the rest?

            It was wasted. First class Travel. Cars. Parties. Hundreds of millions on consultants who were friends of Ewart. Security teams and luxury travel for Ewart. Lucrative overpriced deals for select contractors. Trips to Paris. Trips o China. tTrips to the Caribbean. All with entourages and hangers on.

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  8. CHEEKUMS BIE says:

    bernews why isnt my comment posted yet??

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    • Bernews says:

      Sorry, 30 min delay. Sometimes the phone starts going mad, emails pour in etc, and we get a bit delayed. Sorry!

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  9. Vote for Me says:

    Ms. Davis is sure getting a lot of airplay.. First MP Richards, then Mr. Richards and now Ms. Davis... remind me who speaks on finance?? At one point it appeared to be MP Dunkley.

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    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      and who speaks on finance for the current government?

      Nobody at the moment as far as anyone can tell. Silence.

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  10. Bermyman says:

    Again, PLP posters/supporters fail to recognize that the criticism is not regarding investing in projects to better the community. But when you don't have the government revenues to support these projects then you don't continue to borrow money unless you increase your revenues to manage a reasonable amount of debt. Right now a large portion of Government revenue will be lost to paying interest. To top it off if these expenditures had been managed properly and 100s of Millions not been lost to poor budgeting, cost overruns and some of it is just plain unaccounted for! Then with that wasted money, more projects to benefit the community in these hard times could be put in place.

    The public transport system was abysmal this year. Why?

    Lack of cash flow to properly maintain vehicles. Why?

    Because it was all being paid to service debt.

    This hurts the community and damages the reputation of the Nation.

    You cannot continue to borrow money with no plan to increase revenues.

    We need new hotels and more international business. That will bring in foreign $$, create jobs and increase government revenues. The PLP have no idea how to do this. We are continually told it is going to happen, but no new hotel has been built and no new large employer has come to the island. They have failed miserably at it and if it were not for the few remaining IB companies on the island we would be fishing and farming to survive.

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    • Bullseye says:

      You put it so simply. It is bad management. Yet this forum seems to be filled with personal attacks on these young people because they arent wearing green.

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      • Rosy Hill says:

        It really is simple, honestly, intergrity and education. These young woman and man are examples of what IB and the world will see, I can get behind that.

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  11. haha says:

    How do Nandi and Alexis get so much time off every day for press conferences? Their coworkers must be picking up all the slack.

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  12. haha says:

    She couldn't even answer the first question!!!!!!

    Anyone can read a speech!!

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    • Rosy Hill says:

      Not anyone can read a script mate- have you watched our current members of parliament much? Many - certainly not all, are practically illiterate and cannot speak properly. Slang, Um um's, rights, pepper their speech. They have the audicity to compare themselves to President Obama, unbelievable. He is an educated, shining example of what can be achieved. Plus, Plus, he did this as a person of color and that mate is someone to be proud of, even if you don't get behind his politics.

      This young women is new to the public arena and shows great talent and potential. She is the future- she gets it. You do not.

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  13. Hmmmmm says:

    Folks, sit back and marvel at the campaign. If you are accused of being something you once were (i.e. the UBP) what better way to address that than to promote the newbies for national consumption. I will be surprised if any of the old UBP hacks are allowed first dibs at a microphone on behalf of the OBA during this campaign. They know they cannot win if we have a steady diet of Bob, Mrs. Jackson, Dunkley and Pat...... This is how you rewrite history, you pretend it never happened. Check the FutureCare editorial in the daily; devoted to the Government's positions only and the OBA's positions START with their press conference last week. Nice try Mr.Editor. We remember.

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  14. Filta says:

    Nandi take a brake.

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  15. Filta says:

    You are the OBA puppet. Things will get better but not with the OBA. They might give u a senate position but those there before you are hungry, you will see when you are pushed to the side.

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  16. Rosy Hill says:

    At least she speaks clearly and is a positive role model, same cannot be said for certain others in our current government. Maybe we should consider a basic level of education as part of our criteria for representative?

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    • haha says:

      She does speak clearly and yes she was hooked on phonics, but she still couldn't answer the first question thrown at her. I agree she has potential. Lots of people have potential. Maybe its time to wait for the potential to bloom rather than sinking in the deep end.

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    • True Blue says:

      You seriously want someone with a basic level of education to represent our country? Seriously??? I don't! I swear, if the OBA had a dog running as a candidate, the supporters would still vote for them!

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      • Rosy Hill says:

        I suggest at least a basic education, some of these guys have almost none! How can they manage the complexity of government ministries with no real knowledge of business or how things work? It is a joke.

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      • street wise says:

        Mmmmm... Just like plp voters.

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  17. Undecided Voter says:

    OK Clearly Nandi is a Puppet. First question asked and she can't even answer it!

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    • Victor says:

      Takes one to know one...

      Actually, speaking of investment, perhaps the Premier/Minister of Finance could give us a summary of Government's investments along with the corresponding depreciation schedules, projected returns on investment, amortization schedules, etc.

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  18. IMHO.... says:

    We need to generate money, which is the solution to our debt problem. How do we do that? We do not export anything and do not have enough in our workforce generally to make up the deficit. Our government administration is top heavy. We need to streamline positions/departments to work in unison, to manage better the resources we already have. I mean this DEBT is REAL now and future generations. No matter who becomes the ruling party in the upcoming election, the debt will still be there and growing. So what is your plan to reduce this? That is the question I would like answers to OBA/PLP/IND!!

    Maybe during this election (prior to or shortly thereafter) there needs to be a polling of the public via a referendum to ascertain their views on revenue generating options / opportunities for BERMUDA and its (our) future!

    For Example:
    1) Gambling (locals cannot participate, but this may provide many with jobs - card dealers, servers / bartending, security, etc.)

    2) Create income tax brackets: Payroll tax based on level of income. Higher income = increased tax rate / lower incomes, lower tax rate. One cap does not fit all. Increased payroll tax on incomes of more than $350k.

    3) Implement Cost Control for staple food items; add a tax for non-essentials / nice to have items. To encourage healthier eating. I know many people that want to eat better but find the cost for such items more expensive than pre-package / unhealthy options.

    4) Create incentives for foreign businesses to come to our shores (i.e. immigration policies, term limit extensions, a 50/50 rule, Gov’t tax breaks, etc.). For Companies that cultivate local talent - Succession Planning - employers who hire foreign professionals (ex-pats) who then train locals in relevant fields (accounting, medical / health services, insurance, teaching, elder care), to gain experience, know-how to transition into those management/administrative positions currently held by ex-pats (new college graduates/ young professionals can gain the experience needed this way). Regenerate our workforce with the resources we have (our knowledgeable, experienced guest workers – that is why they are here, right? For their experience or is it to make money and send it off our shores?). Those businesses can create incentives for their employees involved in succession planning. Let us work together for the betterment of all residents, locals and those blessed to have the opportunity to work and reside on our shores.

    5) Use Government owned land for produce cultivation - grow our own fruits and veggies - less import, run and managed appropriately by Ag & Fish; produce sold to local markets/grocers; inclusion with local farmers. More job opportunities.

    6) Decriminalization of Marijuana (for small possession) - less people turned into criminals/have a criminal record (which reduces educational opportunities); Potential cultivation (coffee shops, cafes regulated and managed responsibly, Gov’t taxed re: Amsterdam) Take the money out of the drug dealers hands. Look at our liquor licence policies. In my opinion, Alcohol, which is legal (a very popular pastime amongst locals) is more destructive to our social fabric than anything else.

    IDK? I’m just throwing out ideas to help move blogging into a more constructive form of usefulness. For goodness sakes, there does not seem to be anyone with any formidable ideas these days just a whole lot of distractions like who is to blame.

    Look at where we are at, look at what is happening all around us on this little damn rock in the middle of the Atlantic. We were once a great place (another world), a leader that other Caribbean countries admired. Look at what we have become.

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    • Mad Dawg says:

      2) will kill the country stone dead.

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    • street wise says:

      The plp promised a referendum on Gaming to run in parallel with the General Election. What happened to that?

      Yes... Legalize cannabis. It could be the "magic bullet" to turn tourism around. Real quick!!

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  19. OBA Cutie says:

    Dear Nandi,

    You are beautiful and I will vote for you on 17 December, I like your new professional look and that Tiffany chain you had on today at the press conference.

    Dont take these comments to heart honey, you are hot and actually one of the hottest Politicians we have on the market right now between the two parties

    Many of us dont give two hoots about the issues for me its about the Candidates and for me you are my one and only

    have a great career and dont follow these stupid rude posts or any blog

    by the way, did I mention how arrteactive you are

    Love
    Constituency 2 Voter

    OBA all the way, give us some Nandi any day!!!!!!!!!

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  20. What? says:

    http://bermudasun.bm/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=59735&SectionID=4&SubSectionID=135&S=1

    The above link should help clear up some misconceptions about the true level of capital spending that has occurred for the past decade. Still doesn't come close to $1.5 billion of debt.

    Hope this helps.

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  21. OBA Cutie says:

    Hi again Nandi,

    Above I made an error i mean to say did i mention how ATTRACTIVE you are

    are you having any town hall meetings where i can come and meet you formally you dont have to answer any difficult questions just smile and sip your champagne

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  22. PLP is the only way! says:

    OBA let's put down the scripts and speak your own mind. The people want to see a DEBATE , that will be how you can clearly see who is for real and who is a puppet and shouldn't be elected.

    DEBATE!!!!!!!

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  23. street wise says:

    "We are continually told it is going to happen, but no new hotel has been built and no new large employer has come to the island."... and there won't be any new hotels built here until after the plp are soundly defeated at the polls.

    Billions of dollars (!) will be freed up for investment in Bermuda once a responsible government is put in place.

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  24. m3ke says:

    Can somebody please tell me why the UBP built CBA, then Berkley? Why didn't they just build a UNIVERSITY? Are politicians really even smart these days? I've lost hope in the ministries and the political parties. Now this debt issue, can the government not even maintain itself?

    Thanks for the speech OBA but please include your plan to reduce the debt next time that would really be appreciated.

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    • Come Correct says:

      I'm pretty sure the plp built Berkley buddy. Here's how they reduce debt... Berkley project had cost overruns of what? $50,000,000? Yea, by not doing that...

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  25. Vote for Me says:

    The press conference by the OBA today and the comments on Bernews have been quite interesting. From my perspective, Bermuda deserves better because the OBA continues with a superficial analysis of Bermuda's current debt. Why do I say that??

    A simple example. Ms. Davis refers to her status as having a young son. Under the PLP she would benefit from the daycare benefit which would ensure she has access to appropriate daycare for her child. On the basis of the assistance, she would be able to ensure that her child is as best prepared as possible to enter primary school. The benefit is because it is generally accepted that the better our children are prepared when they enter primary school, the better their education experience will be for their entire school experience.

    To add to the daycare benefit, Ms. Davis would be free to either work or seek employment if she is not employed because her child is in safe daycare. Thus the full benefit to residents is the ability to have safe daycare but also to have the freedom to work or seek employment.

    Is the OBA going to cancel the daycare benefit - they must start to answer these questions because voters want to know!!

    Ms. Davis is clearly unprepared for a discussion about the economics of Bermuda since she was unable to answer the first question about the relevance of the private $5b debt. I accept that as a new candidate, she will not know all the answers but the inability to answer the first question shows her lack of preparedness.

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    • Family Man says:

      Since you brought up schooling - when will the plp government release the public school GCSE results? Town Hall meetings using grades of "G" as passes do not cut it.

      And just yesterday there was an article in the Bda Sun showing the government has been unable or unwilling to pay their electric bill for the docks.

      The list of examples of government scrambling to pay their bills when they come due is growing by the week. All because of the lavish spending on friends and family during the reign of the great doctor and his finance minister Paula Cox. Did we ever get that $160k 'consulting' fee back from the Pastor?

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    • WelfareState says:

      Vote for me you moron, the Daycare programme is welfare (oops am I not supposed to say that?). The PLP isn't giving this welfare away out of their pockets, the people of Bermuda are being forced to pay for it. How about the PLP stop saying how great it is that we are producing so many single mothers who can't afford kids and the taxpayers then has to pay for them, and the PLP start working towards reducing the problem. I am sure most people would prefer a good well paying job than a handout. But no, all we hear from the PLP is how much they are giving away (that the rest of us have to pay for) instead of how much they are helping to create an economic conditions that allow all of us to prosper. Giving away money is all well and good if we had it but we DONT we are BORROWING it. Besides why are you acting like Nandi Davis is on welfare, she has a good job and would not even be eligible for the handout.

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      • street wise says:

        Concerning single mothers who cant afford their children... The fathers of these children must be made to pay Child Support, if necessary, through garnishing their wages, if they are working. This is a must for the new government... New legislation could clear up the money issues with single mothers once the fathers have to pay, or get their wages garnished. Simple as that.

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    • Pastor Syl Hayward says:

      @ Vote for Me: You left out the bit where Ms. Davis would only be eligible for Day Care assistance if she were unemployed or earned less than, is it $50,000? That's a downward adjustment from Day Care for all, which was what the PLP promised. Do we know how much even this modified scheme is costing the tax payers?

      In any case, the lowest paid assistant in the Civil Service starts at $56,000 or thereabouts, based on the Help Wanted ads in the Sun. So, I would bet Ms. Davis, and civil service workers (who are just about the only people still employed nowadays), would not be getting any Day Care benefits. Also, the OBA has, I believe, already stated more than once that they will not cut Future Care, Day Care, or seniors' public travel privileges.

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