Chamber “Fully Supports” Government Action

June 21, 2013

The Chamber of Commerce “fully supports” recent action by the Government in relation to the UK meeting as well as the plans to borrow $400-$800 million to cover three years of deficits, Chamber President Mr. Ronnie Viera said today [June 21].

Mr Viera said, “The Chamber of Commerce fully supports recent action by the Government to defend the Island’s international reputation in the lead up to the recently concluded G8 summit and the announcement yesterday regarding pro-active steps to minimize interest costs in its efforts to address Bermuda’s on going deficit funding and national debt”.

“In our view, Minister of Finance Bob Richards has tackled two key — but very difficult — issues over the past week, both necessary to maintain the Island’s economy.

  • The Minister has begun the process of refuting the impression that Bermuda is a tax haven, and educating the international community with the facts and the true nature of the Bermuda economy, which is essential to maintaining our international business industry and reputation in general;
  • He has also embarked on a holistic plan to address the national debt – one of our most pressing problems – and to provide local investors with an opportunity to invest in Bermuda”.

“While the Chamber remains concerned about the on-going need to borrow to fund operating account deficits and the level of the national debt, we do support the Minister’s approach of a more proactive debt financing model and agree with the steps taken to minimise borrowing costs,” said Mr Viera.

“The Chamber’s Economics Advisory Committee produced a study on debt restructuring more than a year ago, which was submitted to the then-Government and again to the current Government. The paper, primarily written by the late Kirby Brackstone, called for a proactive and holistic plan for borrowing and the inclusion of a Bermuda dollar denominated bond issue.

“We are pleased to see elements of this plan are being adopted,” said Mr Viera.

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Comments (5)

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  1. It’s unfortunate that the citizens of the Island, plus our guest workers do find now ourselves between, “a rock and a hard spot” basically due to former P.L.P.Govt mismanagement of the “Public’s purse” It will be a long time before we can once again hold our heads high…To rectify the wrongs will require we all do our part i.e. cut back on spending U.S.A. dollars by not traveling so often and of course, pulling our belts a bit tighter along with stomping hard on crimes that contribute to a large portion of our foreign dollars leaving the Island.
    This along with our foreign workers who are doing menial jobs that just about any Bermudian can do, but of course the Bermudian must be willing to first swallow what “pride” they carry… if any at all.

  2. Vote for Me says:

    The Chamber once again appears to be completely self serving in its support of the announced plan to borrow $400m to $800m to fund future deficits.

    One simple question – on what basis has the Chamber assessed whether the proposal is good or bad? Without more information, it is impossible to know if the proposal represents a holistic approach or not. I think the Chamber needs to remember that it represents the broader interests of its members and should be more cautious with its blanket approvals of MP Richards actions.

  3. Alvin Williams says:

    Of course the chamber will support the latest policy of the OBA government with respect to greater borrowings. Can you imagine the reaction if the former PLP government had taken such a stance?
    One thing about this that any further down gradings on the part of international ratings agencies will fully sit in the lap of the OBA government.

    • jt says:

      As will our recovery if they can stay in long enough to oversee it.

    • CBA says:

      No, Alvin, that’s where you’re wrong. Any further downgrades based on debt and borrowing will still be attributed the disastrous PLP leadership that put the OBA in this predicament.

      However, when the OBA turns the economy around, they will receive their due credit.