Live Blog: Finance Minister Delivers 2014 Budget

February 21, 2014

Finance Minister Bob Richards is set to deliver the 2014 Budget in the House of Assembly this morning [Feb 21], which will set out the Government’s financials plans for the upcoming fiscal year.

This will be the second budget devised by Minister Richards on behalf of the One Bermuda Alliance Government, who took control following their 19-17 victory at the polls in December 2012.

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Comments (100)

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  1. Betty Trump (L) says:

    Lets get er crackin. Ignoring all the recent ‘distraction tactics’ from the BIU / PLP leading up to this. This’ll be a tough one. Will SAGE commission suggestions be implemented into the budget.

    Gambling, Marijuana all that kit and caboodle mentioned?

    • Andrew says:

      I have a feeling this budget is going to be quite ambitious in the OBAs attempt to rein in governments overspending year on year! Should be interesting one for sure, and i wish them all the best.

    • somuchless says:

      Betty. You too are apart of the problem. Instead of all your endless negative contributions (on a daily basis I must add) be apart of the solution.

      Thank you.

      • Come Correct says:

        That’s not the “daily” BS “Betty” you know.

        • Betty Trump (L.) says:

          While I am not ‘that’ betty, I am possibly still BS :)

        • somuchless says:

          I shoulda known cause there was no mention of OBA/ubp

          Cause that is how she always writes.

      • Dragging A Lure says:

        How in the world could a Blogger’s opinion be part of the problem and not part of the solution? Gosh man, it’s only an opinion. As much as you posted such an idiotic comment, it should not be considered as part of the problem or solution, it’s an opinion just like Betty’s.

      • Betty Trump (L. Furbert) says:

        Im not the regular Betty Trump btw.

    • shaka zulu says:

      Was out back digging in the neighbours yard, and to my superise i found 800 million stashed!!LOL not sure where that money gone to, but would come in handy about now!!!

      • Ha Ha @Shaka
        Bet if you find Jimmy Hoffa , you will find the 800 million..Don’t ever count on seeing that money again, it is well misplaced..

    • Bettty Trump says:

      I see that I am loved by many, and often many miss me when I do not comment. Seems like so many want to have a similar name as me as well…Betty Dump, Betty Trump (L) WOW….I love you tooo…but….Busy in the HOA. Working on the budget ,,,,

      I understand those folks whom political ideology differs from me, as a result they will suggest what I write is of no significance. The same is thoughts have been expressed about their comments, by folks whom also share the same political ideology as me.

      But love still is strong for my Political bloggers of the UBPoba..diehardblindfaithfulness bunch..gotta go busy ….

      Standing strong

  2. Station Please says:

    Hi can you say what radio station we can hear this live on? Thanks

  3. KitKat says:

    Here’s hoping for a sensible, frank discussion- it’s the House of Assembly, not the playground, despite what recent events would suggest. (Hope springs eternal…)

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      No discussion today. It is the budget presentation. That is it. Opposition response next week, then debate on it. No new business till the budget debate is over.

  4. Serious Though says:

    radio station broadcasting this?

  5. Excellent Blogging says:

    Great work Bernews–thanks!

  6. Want to Know says:

    The 60/40 rule protects Bermudians and Bermudian jobs. If a foreign investor puts $300 Million into the local economy, he is going to expect to take at least that and more out. Getting rid of this will only make the rich richer, as they own the assets which will be sold off. The rest of us will have to live off the scraps. If this statement means that it is to be scrapped wholesale, then we are in serious trouble.

    • hmmm says:

      What do you currently own or are working on owning? I’m curious.

      • Want to Know says:

        Just my house (well actually the bank owns a good proportion of it). Which is far too humble for a foreign investor.

        As I said, they will put $300 million (eg) in but how much will they take out $400m, 500m? You don’t invest to lose your investment.

        • alsys says:

          You do realize if they put in 300m and the return is 400m for them, that 100m isn’t coming from us… it would be coming from the tourists or investors who drop 100m there but also drop an additional 100m on hotels, shopping and meals. Which we aren’t getting now. Economies do not exist in a vaccuum, in fact they would be better described as a microcosm. One boost in one side of the economy feeds the other side.

          • Want to Know says:

            But Belco, the banks, the insurance companies (eg. BF&M), Professional service companies do come from us. But your point is noted.

    • Doin' the Dip says:

      If the rich get richer, they will (hopefully) hire more people to keep getting richer… Capitalism at work my friend…

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        That is waay beyond the comprehension of most of the PLP/BIU.

        Money falls from the sky. Didn’t you know?

        • Jonah says:

          Arrogance coupled with anonymity.

          • Triangle Drifter says:

            Are you denying the fact that capitalism works by poeople investing money, to get a decent return of course, they create jobs in doing so therefore creating opportunities for others or are you content just to make a personal attack because the way the world is does not suit you.

      • Jonah says:

        Oh please.. Trickle down is bogus…

        • palmtree says:

          Do you think it tickles up???

          • Jonah says:

            I think that it has created massive disadvantages for huge segments of the Bermudian population – to deny that could only mean that you live in Fairylands….

            When you create an economy that stresses your average citizen, it is an economy that doesn’t trickle down…

            • Hmmm says:

              So spell out how you think it should work?

            • Ann says:

              People have lived in Fairylands even before the OBA government

            • more than enough says:

              in order to benefit from trickle down economics,
              you must first endure a flood of hard labor.
              never achieving enough, to get you out doing hard labor.instead, having to fight, with the rest of the poor people at the bottom of the economic pyramid, for the crumbs falling off the table, just to survive.
              unless of course you are on the top of the pyramid enjoying the well appointed feast. stiff necked fools.

    • cowpolly says:

      Well yes, that’s the pessimistic view………. but at the same time, if a foreign investor puts $300 million into the local economy presumably he believes its because he’s going to grow his investment and with that will come jobs for Bermudians along with a number of guest workers running the show who are prepared to pay rent for accomodation and spend $$$$$ at the local shops and restaurants. Sure it would be great if the foreign investor gave us his money and wanted nothing in return and was prepared to hire an all Bermudian staff to run his venture, but to be honest….. would you?

      • Want to Know says:

        But the macro picture on balance of payments would be different. If it is properly managed then it might work. We shall have to see the proposal.

      • Jonah says:

        And that’s exactly how the rental wars started and why many Bermudians were and still remain priced out of the rental market. Careful what you seek when climbing in bed with economic hitman – they always give you something that you can’t give back…time honoured, all over the world…

        • Cowpolly says:

          Well yes, I agree, but you can’t blame overseas investors for that…….. wasn’t it the greed of our own andlords?

          • hmmm says:

            Absolutely !!!!

            • Jonah says:

              You have conveniently excluded the greed of the real estate agents – bankers that loaned money at 100% – lawyers that made insane profits – accountant partners… Dude, Joe Ave Bermudian sufferd badly under the PLP & UBP and not ensuring that whatever new economy, established under the OBA, isn’t skewed heavily in favour of the greed mongers, is simply wrong….

          • Jonah says:

            Oh but you can – they have no interest in the stress that they place on the economy that they extract huge profits from – they will always need / depend on the greedy to keep them in favour – it’s their way of ensuring that the problems that they create for the communities that they set up shop in, are argued away – pushed asunder – pooh poohed — denied as sour grapes from those that haven’t prepared themselves for the new economy – economic hitman have but one goal and the well being of the masses is so not it!!!

      • Dennis Williams says:

        depends on the business..some jobs will leave and end up in the foreign subsidiaries….

  7. Steve Davis says:

    I like what I am hearing so far!

  8. Question says:

    Where is the meat, Bob?? You are trying to lose people with all this fluffy crap. What are you doing to do, mate?


  9. watching says:

    Could we hurry up and get to the details please. Shoot. this is the longest prelude ever.

  10. Radio says:

    Does anyone know what radio station is broadcasting this live?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Do you not read for yourself?

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Oh dear, 3 dislikes. Must have been insensitive & hurt some tender feelings. Must be 3 others who could not figure out how turn the radio dial or push the search buttons.

      • Unbelievebale says:

        Right? No one actually reads the stories. They just go straight to the blog comments.

  11. Dragging A Lure says:

    “Casinos will be licensed and strictly regulated by a Gaming Authority which will be appointed by and answerable to the Premier” Now that’s what I call “A JOKE”

    • Truth Tells says:

      THis sounds like a mistake. Premier not responsible for this area and the Singapore Model which is being followed has no ability for Political influence or interference. Lets wait for confirmation from the actual regs!

  12. a photog says:

    Minister: No more than three licences will be issued, granting of casino licences will be tied to new hotel development does that mean us small entrepreneurs wont have a chance to start casinos?

    • Steve Davis says:

      Yes, it means that small betting shops that seek to socially damage the under classes will not exists.

      • sage says:

        I already hear ads running for the small betting shop which recently opened on Court street, they don’t need a casino licence anyway.

    • Ann says:

      I hope that is what it means. Let’s keep it classy not trashy

      • sage says:

        Where in “only three casino licences will be issued” does it say small betting shops can’t exist ? One just opened.

  13. a photog says:

    Min of Finance is doing a great job with the Budget…and only a few sips of water! Dunkley

    Milk man no f bombs today please lol

  14. Mazumbo says:

    Did I hear him say that the birth rate is down but just a few weeks ago O.B.A./ubp trolls were complaining about girls having too much babies?

    • Steve Davis says:

      girls already had too much babies, hence how you arrived on the planet and why our jails are full of unwanted rug rats. Bermuda’s biggest problem is that the majority of the working class is so poorly educated that they are unemployable outside of the Civil Service. As Dame Louis advised, “Fornicate in the Trees” now we are borrowing money every year until we are bankrupt to pay for that uncontrolled fornication! Should have been called Fornigate!

      Hows your understudy of Mugabe going?

      • Jonah says:

        Stevie Botha – really? Im guessing Davis isn’t your real name. Arrogance and anonymity… careful – don’t have a drink on Front Street and than forget to be quiet…

    • Unbelievebale says:

      Nice grammar.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Oh dear, next he will be telling people to go out & fornicate in the bushes to get the numbers up.

  15. Question says:

    So I sat here for almost a 1 hour and 50 mins – - and NOTHING??!?!! Seriously?!!?!?!

    I am not pleased with the information – - he deferred the tough decisions to a newly formed committee to look at which departments should or can be privatized – - – so what was SAGE designed to do? Weren’t they the fact finding, research group that made recommendations to the government to move forward? So it was a big bunch of nothing?!!

    Anyone care to explain?


    • Mr. JIF says:

      The budget lacked any concrete information, was a whole lot of ifs and maybes coupled with a sneaking suspicion that they are lubing up the big one for a surprise back door attack.

      • Paul says:

        I think Bob Richards is the best finance minister Bermuda has ever had….Paula Cox, will go down as the worst finance minister Bermuda has ever had.

  16. I'll be at the craps table... in Vegas!! says:

    Am I the only one that feels Mr. Burt is being childish??

  17. Steve Davis says:

    Lol, Burt keeps harping on about Jet Gate. We need a hotel and we need it now! Stop trying to derail the train with petty Jealousy that the Premier is actually attracting investment that could

    • Tommy Chong says:

      We already have HOTELS most of them don’t even reach full capacity in the peek of the tourist season.

      Don’t you want to know if there was a meeting with the alleged, “Jet Gate” investor & what the outcome of that meeting was if it did happen. The alleged investor that was allegedly met with is no laughing matter & if they did actually invest in a casino here in the future we might as well be hit by the largest tsunami in history.

  18. Keep Calm and Rant On says:

    No layoffs announced in the budget. And yet you still complain.

    Not one tax increase to be enacted. And yet you still complain.

    The current tax breaks for struggling sectors remain in place. And yet you still complain.

    They announce that they are to open up the energy sector to counteract BELCO. And yet you still complain.

    They announce numerous capital projects to enhance our infrastructure. And yet you still complain.

    They announce talks with the Banks to provide relief to the economy. And yet you still complain.

    They announce that only 3 gaming licenses will be offered to NEW developments. And yet you still complain.

    They announce they are going to reduce our ever ballooning deficit. And yet you still complain.

    They announce employee empowerment programs via mutualization. And yet you still complain.

    I could continue but what’s the point as you will still complain. The ironic thing about these perpetual complainers are that they were the ones, undoubtedly, defended the PLP to the hilt in 2010 when Paul and Co. raised payroll and foreign currency purchase taxes in the midst of our deepest recession.

    These are the same complainers who cheered on the PLP while they only denied BELCO one rate increase in their total 14 years of power and that was only at the very end as a means to try and attract votes. And not once in their reign did they try and to counteract BELCO via strict regulation or allowing competition into the island to bring down prices.
    These are the same complainers who railed against the banks here, and rightfully so, but did not rail against the PLP for trying to figure out a solution in 14 years against these institutions.

    These are the same complainers that championed the PLP while they increased Govt expenditure by 74% while only successfully increasing income by 30% between 2004 and 2012. As a result our budget deficit grew by 2,286% over the same time period which inevitably piled on the mountain of debt we now find ourselves in.

    These are the same complainers who sat in silence as the PLP received 4 consecutive qualified audits on the consolidated fund by the Audior General. If you don’t know what a qualified audit is I suggest you do your research as in the private sector 1 qualified audit would result in firings.

    These are the same complainers that supported the PLP while they allowed our pensions to become grossly underfunded and who failed to audit the NCSF since 2005!
    Anyways, you get the picture.

    Keep calm and rant on.

    • Sara says:

      Great post. The OBA is far from perfect but I feel much more secure with Bob in control of finances than the cog.

    • Unbelievebale says:

      This pretty much settles it in my view.

      However imperfect the OBA is and has been, how could even DREAM of going back to a PLP Govt?

      The PLP – nice folks but bad managers.

      • Rich says:

        Correction–Bad MANAGER! Those before EW did a very solid job.

    • Rich says:

      Technically you are right in placing the blame on the PLP as it was under one of their Leaders that Bermuda was led down this path. But less we forget, under Jennifer with the Sr. Cox as the Minsiter of Finance, the PLP lowered Bermuda’s debt inherited from the UBP. Fiscal prudence was very much alive and well under the PLP for several years before that wreckless era under the Spin Doctor.

      • Sara says:

        Agreed. PLP get a bad rap because of Dr. Brown. Prior to him, they were doing quite well.

    • Bettty Trump says:

      @Keep Calm and Rant On says and other UBPoba dieharts:

      FAILURE TO SAY HOW THIS IS KEY….as the UBPOba are great at making fancy promises, but fail to often keep them…


      THERE IS NOTHING there that SECURES NO JOB LOSSES… Privatization has resulted in job losses with Tourism department… so I would stay tune if I were you, and so not buy into this hype up budget so quickly….. LISTEN FOR THE DETAILS….THATS WHAT KEY HERE>…

      These are the same complainers that supported the OBAubp, but yet fail to:

      BUDGET IS SHORT ON DETAILS, which is key to the big HOW. Little too soon to call it a win, win now…..more to come….Let the debate begin….

  19. Unbelievebale says:

    I am pleasantly surprised at this budget. I welcome it. It’s not perfect but the conditions are not perfect. As stated no new taxes, no lay-offs either.

  20. bluebird says:

    @ keep it calm and rant on,
    Execellent article.
    That should keep them quiet for a little while that is of course if they can read.

  21. bluebird says:

    @Keep it Calm and Rant on.
    The “PROGRESS” that the OBA have made so far is quite increadable.
    The “PROGRESS” that the OBA has made really does “T” OFF the opposition.
    The “PROGRESS” that the OBA has made makes it more difficult for the opposition to regain power and be able to “PLUNDER”.

    • Rich says:

      I have yet to see real/tangible evidence of progress. Also, I do believe that you are getting way ahead of yourself in predicting future elections. Make no mistake, if the average Bermudian’s life hasn’t improved at the end of the OBA’s first term ,they will be ousted.

      • nuffin but the truth says:

        and IF the unthinkable happened and the OBA were ousted as you put it,you can kiss your houses and fancy cars GOODBYE because many more will be out of work as the ex pats pull out and take their employment with them like they did when the plp were on a 14 year binge before.
        Ya better go buy a tent and sleeping bag while ya still can!

      • Jonah says:

        Absolutely correct – extremely silly to beieve that pay reductions for government workers and the obvious reduction of employment when govt depts are outsourced won’t have an impact on an election…

        • LiarLiar says:

          At least it will have a positive impact for Bermuda and her people and especially for future generations of Bermudians.

          It is a shame that you guys are so willing to place politics above the betterment of people.

          It is a shame but no surprising as that has been your goal since the day your Party was formed. In the end that is the real reason we are where we find ourselves today. All those pork barrel politics is coming home to roost now in the form of an bloated and inefficient civil service, massive deficitn and unsustainable debt.

          Party before the people all the time with you guys.

      • Bettty Trump says:

        Where is the evidence? I have not see validate data from the UBPoba so far.

  22. Jus' Askin' says:

    Stay tuned Bermuda ;-)

  23. nuffin but the truth says:

    so how much will a pack of smokes and bottle of beer cost?

  24. a photog says:

    captains Lounge is still registered as a hotel so why cant they ask for gaming licence and only the big hotels get one? and i am OBA by the way

    • Ann says:

      Again let’s keep our gambling classy not trashy, and remember no one on social assistance can gamble!!!!

  25. Cowpolly says:

    The reason, I believe, that three gaming licences are linked to new hotels is to encourage new investors into the island and “blue collar” jobs for Bermudians. It also gives a time buffer to weed out all the social, political and emotional issues that go along with gaming. My bet is that new development being built at Sonesta will be our first ….. but that is only my own unsubstantiated opinion and I don’t have a problem with that.

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      Here we go!!…Morgan’s Point…The Greens on South Shore and the Old Holiday Inn site St.Georges. All you need is Billion dollar investments for each project…every person in Bermuda should use their initiatives to attract foreign investors…we all know somebody who knows someone that knows a Prospective Investor so GO GETTEM GUYS!!

  26. more than enough says:

    dem crazy… dem crazy
    we gonna chase dem crazy baldheads
    out of town…

  27. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    Five Things Prospective Investors Look for in a Business Plan;
    Before writing a business plan, put yourself in the investor’s place and consider what he or she might be looking for when reviewing your document. Obviously, investors expect to see the details of the business, such as the type of business, location, business structure, and markets addressed.

    Beyond the basics, however, there are key areas on which investors focus. While the particulars may differ depending on the type of investor, the amount of the funding required, and the nature of the business, there are five main things investors look for.

    1. Investors want to see your background in the industry and business experience as well as that of your management team. Many small businesses fail because of weaknesses in the management team. See Presenting the Management and ownership Section of a Business Plan for more information.

    2. Not only do you need to show how your product or service is unique, you need to prove that there is a demonstrated need for your offernings and a substantial market potential to make the investment worthwhile. Investors don’t want to invest in “little” ideas — you must show them the potential to be a big success.

    3. No matter how unique your product or service may be, you must show that you know your demographics and can reach your target market in a continual manner. Your pricing and sales strategy must be clearly defined and in line with industry norms.

    4. Investors want to know that you have acknowledged and researched your competition thoroughly. In addition, they want to see your stategy to contend with your competitors and distinguish yourself. What gives you the competitive edge? See Creating the Competitive Analysis Section of a Business Plan for more information.

    5. Investors expect to see a return on their investment. Therefore, they want to see realistic financial projections that show how long it will take for the business to show a profit and for them to recoup their funding dollars. They also want to see a clear exit strategy: a way to make a profit and move on to the next deal.

  28. Bermuda Boy says:

    Mazumbo = vile, vile and more vile. Thanks Mr. Richards for a job WELL DONE.

  29. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    If my neighbor takes out a loan to buy a house of cards does that make me responsible to re pay his debt.

    When you owe some body for a loan, that some body owns you and all you have left. Right !