Terry Lister On Budget: ‘Overall A Good Start’

February 23, 2013

Terry ListerIndependent MP Terry Lister said the 2013/14 Budget was “overall a good start” and while he feels the change in licensing fees and payroll tax break will stimulate the real estate and employment sectors, he thinks the change to the seniors car licensing will be problematic and punitive to seniors.

Earlier this month Mr Lister resigned from the PLP and is now sitting in the House as an Independent. During his resignation speech he said, “The past few years have been extremely difficult and less satisfying for myself. Some of that difficulty stems from my decision to stand in this very House in July 2009 to express my grave concerns about the rising debt that the Government was incurring.”

Speaking after the delivery of the Budget yesterday, Mr Lister said, “I have praise for the Minister for presenting a Budget that clearly sets out the situation that Bermuda finds itself in. Knowing that the last thing the Minister wanted was to increase debt, all Bermudians should now see how bad Government’s finances are.

“For starters, without a positive current account, there is a requirement to borrow to cover the debt service. This has impacted our finances to the tune of $133M.

“There are Government projects that are carry overs from the prior administration that must be completed. These represent the bulk of the $85M in capital spending.

“So there is little chance for reduction in Government spending in this area. Nor is there any opportunity for the Minister to provide funding for capital works to support those OBA programs that they would have wished to put into play in their first year in office.

“The current account cannot be addressed positively until…on the revenue side there is a significant increase in economic activity. On the expenditure side there is an agreement of ‘shared sacrifice’. The level of revenue being received by the Government makes it imperative that there be concessions on the part of Government workers.

Mr Lister continued, “The adjustment to payroll taxes should encourage employment growth. I would implore the government Ministries to work together to ensure that the jobs created are going to Bermudians wherever and whenever possible.

“While this appears to cause Government to lose revenue, the success of the companies participating will create other revenue benefits to the government.

“The real estate markets are desperately in need of stimulation. The change in licensing fees will provide this stimulus. These changes are clearly directed at the top end of the market, however I would encourage the Government to work with the banking sector to narrow the gap between what they payout for deposits and what they charge borrowers for that same money. The reduction in interest rates will make it possible for Bermudians to purchase homes.

“One concern that I have is that there does not seem to be enough done to assist those truly in need. A Sunshine League type of outfit is very much needed. A halfway house for inmates needs to be reinstated.

“The change to the seniors car licensing has not been well thought out and will prove to be both problematic and punitive to seniors. Overall a good start but as always ‘the devil is in the detail”, concluded Mr Lister.

View all our coverage of the 2013 Budget here.

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Comments (29)

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  1. Chris P Bacon says:

    Terry Lister you are a man of reason – thank you. I am 58, and I hope the seniors car thing is sorted out before I turn 65. 7 years should do it.

  2. Bobmarlin says:

    Mr.Lister you are an accountant,and your comments are most respected.
    I hope you can see fit to join the OBA,as I am sure they could use your expertise,in these trying times.May you continue on your journey of soul searching.All the best!

  3. Verbal Kint says:

    I’m not a party advocate either way, but I can see Mr. Lister being a more effective and reasoned opposition than all the PLP put together. I hope he remains an independent.

  4. Limey says:

    It’s refreshing to hear the truth now the honourable mr lister isn’t subjected to the party whip!

  5. Lisa says:

    Mr. Lister I have always respected you in the PLP. I now respect you more, join the OBA, who would appreciate your experience and knowledge more.

  6. Alvin Williams says:

    It is no surprise that Terry Lister will agree with the budget statement
    of the anti-Bermudian regime OBA government and it’s determination to effect an economic recovery on the back of ordinary working Bermudians.
    Now his anti-union conservative economic viewpoint can be given full flow. It is no wonder that his leadership attempts for leading the PLP failed. Now his support of the OBA goverment’s anti-Bermudian and pro non-Bermudian budget statement can be used as a fig-leaf for his finale crossing of the parliament floor where I am sure he will feel much at home.

    • skeptic says:

      boy, you seem a little sore about someone from the PLP speaking in a balanced and collaborative tone!! With this kind of divisive rant, its no wonder we have gang problems – ever stop and think about the message you send to our young people? If you placed your energy into something constructive, you might actually make a difference in the world.

    • Rick Rock says:

      3 weeks ago you’d have defended any word he said. But then integrity is not exactly your middle name is it.

    • swing voter says:

      umum….have you apologised to KFC or have you convineiently forgotten….and moved onto rant on the new government

    • Limey says:

      I think you confuse anti Bermudian with pro business, there is a difference!

    • Out of flight says:

      Alvin Williams talks and has never done a thing to help Bermudians. Shame on you. Shame on you. Write write write and do nothing. Lister has it so right you were frightened.

  7. Observer says:

    Anti Business cannot be anything but anti Bermudian – look at the results to date

  8. Rockfish#1 says:

    When the PLP government was spending/ giving away our money, Alvin Williams seemed to be blind, deaf, and dumb.

    Now that the new government is making an effort to repair the damage inflicted by the same PLP, he has suddenly regained his ability to see, hear, and speak.

    Miracles happen, and wonders never cease!

  9. Downderoad says:

    @ Alvin Williams
    What is the meaning of fig leaf? Isn’t that used in historical context to cover ones genitals? Do you mean olive branch as in presenting a peace offering? I am confused. Can you please explain?

  10. Rock Watcher says:

    @Chris Bacon – Why does a senior need a larger car? Save your money or give it to a Charity!
    From these and other comments on various topics it is clear that I am not super intelligent
    but there are many out there who are way below average!! Way below!!!
    Those that can still sing the praises of, and support the PLP are in right in there!

  11. Nuffin but de Truth! says:

    The ONLY anti-Bermudian’s are the plp and their followers.

    WHEN you all figure that out,you’ll begin to see the light,
    until then, STFU.

  12. Common Sense says:

    Congratulations to Terry Lister for speaking out about what is probably the most important budget in our history. It is refreshing to hear someone who has given many years of service in one political party actually praising the other side for producing a sensible, practical budget. Our new Government inherited a complete and utter economic disaster, much as President Obama did 4 years ago. It remains to be seen if they can turn things around, but with someone of Terry Lister’s calibre being totally honest and speaking for many of those who are in the middle of the political spectrum, maybe we can now be a little more optimistic about Bermuda’s future.

    I for one have no desire to see Mr. Lister become a member of the OBA. He is far more valuable to Bermuda as an “independent minded independent”. I expect that he will often vote with the PLP if and when they put forward sensible practical proposals for change, but equally, he will vote with the OBA when they do likewise.

    It’s ironic that the very people who supported Wayne Furbert when he changed parties, and who argued that he didn’t need to go back to the electorate to give his constituents a chance to vote him out, are now crying foull What is good for the goose is surely good for the gander.

  13. Thief says:

    We have a future that will take Bermuda to the stars when we recognize the good in each other before the bad. Steal the good thing such as this overall good budget

  14. almostthere. says:

    I seem to recall that the plp also had ubp unfinished projects that just had to be completed such as the finishing of cedar bridge and berkeley, also there was no way that the former Premier lied about the situation after all how many were listening as she quietly spoke about what was imperitive, terry should have been honest a long time ago when he was in the plp but he knows about parliamentary proceedure and party loyalty and the whip so lets not get too excited he probably is looking to cross the floor soon, everyone has a personal agenda in politics so lets not be fooled.. and the oba started out lying, also the false reporting of the lister brother leaving was inciteful, … oba has done nothing different and bob knew ful well what the situation was he just wanted to be in charge if he was an accountant before december he should have figured out the only way out would be more debt…he still doesn’t know how to manage it any better but has not hiked it up more without even trying radical cuts..give me a break a bunch of blanks running government still.. there are more intelligent minds that are not involved than are involved because government resents competition and common sense! nothing will get better for bermudians, no voting anymore for anybody!!!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Could you rewrite that again, in English this time, with some punctuation so that there is a hope of reading & understanding what you are trying to say?

  15. Crazy Lady says:

    I’m sorry seniors, but if u can buy those big cars. Then u can afford to license them your selves. Just keeping it real

  16. We Dont Care What You Think says:

    The PLP are Black Communists who’s Leadership and MPs espoused empowerment and opportunity for The Bermudians, whilst outside the optical illusion of a Black Government for 14 years, few of the stuctural barriers to wealth creation and wealth participation for Bermudians changed uneer the PLP.

    Yes we gained access to high level hig paing JOBS in the IB Sector, but the PLP were too myopic and unsophisticated to even spoonfeed some of their own into business ownership and true independence from Bermudas shameful pre-1988 structural monopolies.

    Imagine 14 years and they didnt have the courage to even reform education or gay rights, even though many of their senior tatesmen had close links with the gay community.

    We can only hope that the wisdom of people like Terry Lister and older PLP members who never lost their moral compass during the years of graniose government expenditure can help usher in a culture that facilitates better ideas and better opposition form The Opposition, as so far apart from their response on work permit waivers for under 19 expat students, the Opposition has only made noise but said very little.

  17. Islander says:

    also remember that there was more than enough money left for the completion of CBA but the PLP chose to piss it all over the world (themselves, friends, families and Victoria with her secrets) and completely ignored anyone outside of that circle. Be realistic and remember what took place at Berkeley, the Testing centre, now the wharf that Correia construction built and that you have now to pay to have repaired as it should have been built. Nest check the battery in your pace maker because there are still lots more reports to come forth and I am sure, even you will be shocked. Oh, the new hospital which is now going to be the emergency area, dialysis unit and analysis section (xray, blood test and so forth), even to their last breath they deceived you

  18. Triangle Drifter says:

    While Lister is not the tallest blade of grass in the accounting field, he was the tallest blade in the PLPs’ financial yard, and now they have effectively cut him down. Their loss.

    He will sit out in lonely Independent Land for awhile. Maybe a few others will see the light & resign from the PLP & he will have company. There are a few wearing green who one would think are out of their element with the PLP. Most likely, before too long, he will will make the step to the OBA where he will be most welcome.

  19. Prayerful says:

    It is refreshing to hear Mr. Lister use his “accounting” mind to speak outside of the purview of the Party whip To me this does not mean that ahe will be crossing the floor. I think that he can command respect as an independent.

    I too amy sorry about the licensing fee for seniors. I have a large car, not because I purchased it but because I needed a car and that was the only one available. I think that when my license expires in December, I will no longer be driving and use that money for bus fare.

  20. sharon says:

    Lol you Bloggers really need a life! The stuff is hilarious! If he wouldn’t have switched you would have had him for lunch! But he has the attention now that he needs! Not everyone cut out to be behind the scenes!