Video: Shadow Minister Seeking Action, Delivery

October 1, 2013

As far as reducing the cost of living what we are getting “more talk” from the Government, and the Opposition is asking for “action and delivery on those promises,” Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said on Friday.

Speaking during the Labour Day celebrations, Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy said that Government Ministers recently met with one of the leading grocery chains and BELCO to discuss reducing the costs of electricity and food items.

“There has been much said about shared sacrifice – and the burden of that should not be placed with only Labour,” said Minister Fahy.

“To encourage true shared sacrifice I can confirm that very recently the Deputy Premier, Michael Dunkley and I met with one of the leading grocery chains to see how we can work together to reduce prices on standard food items.”

“Also, the Minister responsible for the Dept. of Energy, Minister Dr Grant Gibbons has met with BELCO to discuss how we can find ways of reducing the costs of electricity for you the consumer,” said Minister Fahy.

Mr Burt speaking at the House on Friday

In the House on Friday, Mr Burt asked Minister of Economic Development Dr Grant Gibbons, “Will the Minister advise this Honourable House on the progress of talks with BELCO on reducing the price of electricity; and if he will make a statement?”

The question posed to Deputy Premie rMichael Dunkley was: “Will the Minister advise this Honourable House on the progress of talks that he and the Minister of Home Affairs have held with leading grocers on reducing the price of standard food items; and if he will make a statement on the particulars of these meeting(s)?

And the final question set by Mr Burt was to Finance Minister Bob Richards: “Will the Minister of Finance advise this Honourable House how many times the Price Control Commission has met since it’s appointment in March 2013; and if he will make a statement on their work?”

Speaking outside the House on Friday, Mr Burt said: “The discussions are ongoing, yes, and we also see today about 6,000 public servants got their first pay package with a 5% reduction in pay. At the same point in time they have a 5% reduction in pay we have seen a 15% surcharge on the fuel surcharge.

“Now the Minister said they don’t control the fuel surcharge, but what that says is prices are going up, we saw inflation still on the rise today…so we see lots of things that are continuing to go up, but people are being asked to do with less.”

“If you cannot deliver these reductions in prices, then do not tell the people you are going to deliver those reductions in prices. What we got today from the Government is more talk, and what we as the Opposition are asking for is action and delivery on those promises.”

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Comments (47)

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  1. Double Standards says:

    What ever happened to Ms. Cox’s price control commission initiated last year, I believe?

    • B. Trump says:

      Looks like the Unions and Workers have been hoodwinked, as government has failed to address the issue of BELCO and food bills reduction. So whom is doing the “Shared Sacrificing:, only a certain sector within our community. Well said Burt….false promises by the this OBAubp government.

      • Gusto says:

        Are you willing to work for less Betty? I thought not!!

      • Suzie Quattro says:

        B Trump. I hate to break it to you but nobody can wave a magic wand and reduce the cost of food, or the cost of BELCO’s oil.

      • terry says:

        Go back to the OBA site L.B.
        Yah damn troll.

      • Paradise Reclaimed says:

        More ripples on the sea of PLP knitpickery. Oppose with dignity and maybe normal thinking people will listen and come over to the PLP. Keep whining and you’ll be opposing forever!

      • fasho says:

        Silly B. Trump. “Only a certain sector within our community” are suffering because, funnily enough, they were the ones your beloved PLP boned…

  2. Joonya says:

    Burtey, relax mate, make some more swizzle and have a coupla glasses.
    They have a delicate balancing act to perform especially considering the bag of poop you lot left them with on Dec 17th.

    • Field says:

      @ joonya its obvious that you are not one of the many bermudians that are struggling.

      • jt says:

        Who’d ya vote for the last 4 elections?

        • Field ***** says:

          @ It doesnt matter who I voted for. And its defenitley not none of your business.

          • Come Correct says:

            So it’s a little of their business then?

            • Field says:

              @ come correct just to let you kno i dont vote at all. And @Jt assumed i voted PLP because I am one of the many bermudians struggling. We all know who you are for Jt just from saying the “last 4 elections” line nice try though.

          • GP says:

            If it is jt’s business please let us know who you voted for Field *****

      • yesman says:

        You need to drink some of the swizzle go sleep and wake up again and get ya mind right.

      • Joonya says:

        Yes Field, economic issues have affected my life too, you can bet your *ss on that one. But try think of something other than yourself for a change. Big picture, if you will, for once. Think of the MILLIONS that were WASTED during the past 14 years with the “ITS OUR TURN” mentality, then let me know if you’re cathing my drift. TAXPAYER money that could be used to… Ahhh forget it.. its no use…

  3. watching says:

    They are not concerned. Fahy spoke what the crowd wanted to hear, not what was really going on. Bob Richards has never been interested in anything to do with the common man. His arrogance is notorious – he doesnt hardly respond to any questions, and today we hear he refused to even testify at the Electoral Committee. What nonsense is this?
    It is unfortunate that the Leader has no control or leadership ability as I would have thoguht he would encourage them to do the right things. Its a sad state all around.

    • fasho says:

      That’s because helping the common man isn’t going to save Bermuda. See the bigger picture.

  4. Query says:

    @Field and it’s obvious you fail to realize that the PLP cannot overly criticize the OBA for costs such as the fuel surcharge when the PLP did very little in 12 years to address not just the high cost of energy, but BELCO’s future capacity planning and the regulation of the energy market, particularly demand-side appliances.

    • Field ***** says:

      @ Query Blame the PLP smh. We get it PLP are responsible for everything that is gone wrong in this country. (being sarcastic) I dont support no Government but blaming PLP for every little thing is old now…That was the Past. At the present moment/ Lower Class Bermudians cannot afford the cost of living..What is the OBA going to do for us lowerclass citizens….are we even important to them?

      • Query says:

        You initially blamed the OBA, so I decided to give you a history lesson. I’m all for removing mention of political parties when the person I am debating with makes the same consideration.

        Fact of the matter is, with political parties aside, is that the Civil Service has neither the authority nor expertise to lower your cost of living in Bermuda. They have more important things to do like collect a pay cheque.

        In the meantime, ask yourself what your essentials are to living and act accordingly. Use non-profit resources available if you can detach from pride and confess to needing assistance. There are hybrid solutions to surviving, however relying on politicians to lead the way is not one.

        • Field says:

          @ When did I blame OBA?

          • Query says:

            In your initial post that was removed; possibly because of your insensitive pseudonym.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Naaahh, it is all the UBPs fault. The PLP sang that tune right up to last December. 14 long years after the UBP lost power.

      • Um Um Like says:

        I suppose we could blame the UBP on your lack of education. I couldn’t squeeze another double negative in there if I tried!

        If your cost of living is out of control perhaps you should shut down your internet connection. That will give you more time to hone in on your dishwashing skills.

        You bring shame to real field *******!

        • Field says:

          @ Um Um like..I dont need an education to see that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer..I dont need an education to see that my paycheck is gone before i can get a chance to see a movie. but i can see that what i have said does bother you. Now you can squeeze as many double negatives in there if you want. It doesnt hurt me none. I kno who I am. The truth is what it is, No matter what GOVERNMENT is in Power right now whether it be Oba or Plp the average bermudian cannot afford the cost of living in bermuda.now i understand that sacrificing is apart of the game however the one who lives it feels it most…

          • fasho says:

            You act like it’s somebody else’s responsibility to support you. Welcome to the real world, Bermuda fairy tale is ending. Poverty is reality.

  5. aceboy says:

    Price controls are a disaaster waiting to happen. You’d know that if you had half a brain. Socialist tampering is the worst thing for any economy.

    • watching says:

      David Burt clearly stated that the PLP doesn’t support price control…it was the OBA that stated they would have these discussions etc…so where are they and where are the benefits?

    • Ride says:

      @aceboy

      While your statement is true it is a hard sell from someone on $50K who has just taken a 5% pay cut.

      I’m not aware what is being discussed with the grocers but I think something could work if it they were asked to voluntarily look into shifting some of their revenue generation out of a set of foods defined as staples (e.g. rice, tin beans, frozen chicken, frozen or tin vegetables, flour, and potatoes) and spread the revenue shortfall over other items. For those that make noticeable changes, government could assist in getting the word out.

      Ride

      • Field says:

        @ Ride what about fresh vegetables and fruit? So the have nots have to eat food that is low in nutrients while the people who do have can get there daily nutrients and vitamins from fresh foods?

        • Ride says:

          @Field

          My thoughts are that fresh produce is more expensive than frozen (almost fresh) and tinned (slightly processed) so more likely to be affordable for customers and more likely to see noticeable price reductions from revenue redistribution.

          The hard cold reality is that the “have-nots” are going to have to go without some things; by definition (else they would be “haves”). A low income household simply can’t afford some things. Its a hard reality but it is an unavoidable truth. Perhaps, imported fresh produce is one of the things that will have to be given up. There are the options of growing your own or buying direct from local farms. Listen, there were a lot of things my family went without in my childhood. I was simply told that we could not afford it and so I had to put it back on the shelf. However, I always had a nutrient rich well balanced diet.

          As Bermuda continues its downward economic trend there will be a even more households that will have evaluate what is a necessity as opposed to what is a convenience/luxury that they have become accustomed to.

          Ride

          • aceboy says:

            If you try and control food prices the result will be no food eventually. Just ask the people of Venuzuela. They can’t even buy toilet paper now in that hell hole.

            • Ride says:

              @aceboy

              The issue in Venezuela is that people are buying up in bulk the price control items and then selling them in neighbouring countries at full price to reap the profits. Not a likely scenario here in Bermuda.

              Still, price control generally is not a good idea. That is why I recommended encouraging grocers to voluntarily redistribute revenue sources.

              Ride

        • fasho says:

          The ‘have nots’ actually have lots compared to a lot of the world. They should be happy they can get any food at all. This is how the world works. We can’t all be at the top.

  6. openmind says:

    Does anyone out there know what Mr. Burt’s qualifications are? Does he have a background in finance?

    • watching says:

      From PLP Website -

      David graduated from Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, Florida in 1996. He went on to attend The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in Finance and Information Systems in 2001. He was awarded The George Washington University Presidential Administrative Fellowship and received his Master of Science in Information Systems Development in 2003.

      • lay down! says:

        @watching can u name Paula cox’s educational background!?

        • watching says:

          Um, Paula Cox is no longer an MP…Not sure the relevance of this. I actually don’t know her educational background but I do know she is a lawyer. Irrelevant to this article though.

        • Time Shall Tell says:

          @Lay Down, you should be asking what are the Premiers qualifications..

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            Can we get a run- down on the Leader of the Opposition’s qualifications?

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        Thanks watching. So he doesn’t have a background in finance then.

        • watching says:

          DId you not see that he did a double major in Finance and Info Systems? Obviously reading and comprehension aren’t in your background!

  7. More with less says:

    It is difficult to trim when you are paying so much for rent here in Bermuda. But there are ways. Obviously cut cable, reduce electricity use, buy your veggies from farmers market in season, sell your car, get a roommate, no elaborate cell phone and plan, no payed internet, no eating out, no buying alcohol(expensive and not a need), buy foods that go further for less(rice, frozen veggies, dry beans, dry lentils, cheese, eggs), buy all second hand, move in with a friend/family member, and ask for help if you really need it.