OBA & PLP On Job Losses/Employment Report

April 25, 2014

Following the PLP’s comment about the recent Employment Report, the OBA said the PLP “say anything – distort, mislead, exaggerate, insinuate – to make the OBA Government look bad,” while the PLP said “the gap between the haves and have-nots is growing and the OBA’s policies are widening that gap.”

This follows after a report was released saying that Bermuda’s employers reported a loss of 1,166 jobs last year, with 34,277 jobs counted in 2013, compared to 35,443 in 2012.

In addition, the number of business entities in the Bermuda job market dropped from 4,391 to 4,130 in 2013, a reduction of 261 entities.  This was the fifth consecutive year of job declines and the lowest number of filled jobs recorded since 1995.

Following that report, Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said “The governing OBA promised Bermuda 2,000 jobs, yet in their first year as government, total job losses stand at 1,166.”

An OBA spokesperson said Mr. Burt was being misleading as the “survey was conducted in the last week of August 2013 – some eight months after the election – providing a snapshot of the labour situation at that time.

“Mr. Burt ignored that fact to say this constituted the record of the OBA’s first year as government,” the OBA said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Burt said, “We see a vastly different picture for Bermudians and Non Bermudians. Real income for Bermudians fell .8% last year while at the same time real income for Non-Bermudians rose 1.2%.

“Maybe this is why the Minister of Finance is hearing that things are getting better at the cocktail parties thrown by companies that are cutting pay and benefits to their staff, but there is a big difference between what is going on in the board room and the living room,” added Mr. Burt.

One Bermuda Alliance Comments

A One Bermuda Alliance spokesman said, “You can bank on PLP spokesmen these days to say anything – distort, mislead, exaggerate, insinuate – to make the OBA Government look bad.

“For them, for now, it’s politics before country, doing whatever it takes to undermine confidence in a government working to move the Island along the road to recovery.

“Health spokesman Zane DeSilva was at it last week decrying the Government’s ‘lies, distortions and inaction’ on the South Shore pollution situation – forgetting conveniently that he was Health Minister when the same problem existed.

“And this week, David Burt stepped forward with a statement that deliberately misleads public understanding of the jobs survey put out by the Department of Statistics.

“The survey was conducted in the last week of August 2013 – some eight months after the election – providing a snapshot of the labour situation at that time. Mr. Burt ignored that fact to say this constituted the record of the OBA’s “first year as government.”

“We’re fairly confident people understand that the OBA inherited the PLP Government’s disastrous economic legacy that resulted in continuing job losses and business failures through 2013.

“Mr. Burt, nevertheless, went on with an amnesia-backed attack to say that the OBA was disconnected from the hurt and pain felt by Bermudians. Really? It’s a tribute to his chutzpah to make such a statement when he was junior Finance Minister in a government that presided over the loss of 5,000 jobs between 2008 and 2012. Where was the empathy then?

“Mr. Burt’s partisan zeal then carried him further when he launched a cookie-cutter attack on business, using the same polarizing, unwelcoming words that alienated job creators during the PLP years in power.

“Politics that relies on division, scapegoating and truthiness is not the direction Bermuda needs to go. To move forward, we need to learn lessons from our mistakes, all of us.”

Shadow Minister of Finance David Burt’s Comments

In response, Mr. Burt said: “Governing through the rear-view mirror may seem impressive to members of the OBA, but effective governments move forward, play the hand they’re dealt and make things happen.

“It is clear that the OBA prefers to walk down memory lane rather than chart a path to progress. Their obsession with focusing on the past has resulted in Bermudian Job losses and shrinking paycheques for Bermudians who still have work.

“The gap between the haves and have-nots is growing and the OBA’s policies are widening that gap. The best example can be seen from the jobs report which stated that Bermuda lost 1,166 jobs and saw 261 businesses shut their doors last year.

“Earlier this week the OBA applauded a “rise in income” as a sign that “things are getting better” – However the OBA’s own statistics show that costs are rising faster than wages which means that Bermudians are worse off – not better!

“But that does not tell the whole story, because it can be seen in black and white that there is not shared sacrifice as we see a vastly different picture for Bermudians and Non Bermudians. Real income for Bermudians fell .8% last year while at the same time real income for Non-Bermudians rose 1.2%.

“Maybe this is why the Minister of Finance is hearing that things are getting better at the cocktail parties thrown by companies that are cutting pay and benefits to their staff, but there is a big difference between what is going on in the board room and the living room.

“Though the OBA may not like the facts, and will reduce themselves to churlish statements to deflect from the impact of their misguided policies; the actions of the OBA over the past week are evidence that they are disconnected from what is going on in Bermudian homes across the country.

“If the OBA were really in touch with Bermudians, they would be criticising the shameful actions of Clarien Bank which have left their employees distraught and fearful of losing their homes.

“However, instead of criticism, we have the Minister of Finance taking to the airwaves to defend the actions of a private enterprise; actions which should be offensive to all Bermudians! The Minister of Finance and the rest of the OBA Cabinet should remember that they were elected to serve the people of Bermuda and not to do the bidding of Clarien Bank.

“The people of this country do not need history lessons from the OBA, they need jobs and they deserve a Government that will stand up for them. To date the OBA has failed on both measures, and it is our job as the Opposition to hold the One Bermuda Alliance to account.”

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Comments (58)

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  1. The Fact says:

    Oh for F’s sake can we just move on and get this damn country moving. The survey was completed in August of 2013, only 8mths after a change in Government. In the corporate work, that’s only 2 months after your 6 month probation.

    It’s going to HAVE to get worse in order for it to get better. Hope everyone is ready. And this goes for ALL Bermudians.

    • @ The Fact. I nor anyone else could have been more clearer in explaining why the Progressive Labour Party are so damn silly at times :-(
      As oppose to making so many innuendos along with their senseless criticism, why not be a part of the solution to the countless problems left for the One Bermuda Alliance to sort out?That would make them a far better Opposition…

  2. Anon says:

    Finally, the OBA is defending themselves in an appropriate manner.

    • Wazzzzz Up says:

      I agree – about time. PLP , we want a GREAT opposition not a desperate one! An opposition with POSITIVE, and new ideas to improve on what the current government is doing. Not the whining, cry babies you have become. You are better than that! Rise up, be positive and come forth with positive and complimenting ideas, constructive criticism, and direction!

      If I wanted to listen to people that talk and complain (instead of doing their jobs)and do nothing all day – I would tune in to talk shows!

  3. Al says:

    David Burt will say anything and twist anything it seems to score points.

    That’s not what Bermuda needs – what we need is mature, honest voices, and to WORK TOGETHER to get this island out of the hole it’s in.

    • inna says:

      unfortunately, he learned from the best!

      • Put pupils first says:

        One thing he didn’t learn is you need a license to sell liquor!

  4. Liars all of them! says:

    “Their obsession with focusing on the past”

    Did a PLP represenative really accuse others of living in the past?

    Hahahaha.

    And where was Burt’s empathy when all other banks, under their tenure, reduced employee benefits? Where was Burt’s empathy for the people when one Bank cut 500 jobs after being permitted to buy out a local bank. If I remember correctly prior to the last election Ms. Cox touted the appointment of a certain CEO as an accomplishment only achieved because of the PLP’s reign, but conveniently forgot that the same CEO oversaw the elimination of 500 jobs as well as the roll back on employee benefits within the same bank. When all this occurred why wasn’t Burt, or any PLP representative for that matter, out in the media crying fowl and what not?

    Not one politrician should ever be trusted and Burt has now shown he is no different from the herd.

    • Heavens says:

      Coxy touted the appointment of BoB CEO because a) he was black and b) he was Dr Evil’s “brother”. You can bet if HSBC appointed a white guy the story would have been way different. In fact, I’d bet that the sale would probably never been allowed to go thru.

      • Jo-Blo says:

        You think Paula Cox is a racist?

      • Common Sense says:

        For heavens sake can we stop this mindless and utterly vindictive rhetoric with regard to Dr. Ewart Brown. I have lots of criticism of Dr. Brown and am no supporter of many of his policies and actions, but he is our former Premier and as such he should be respected as someone who gave his all to Bermuda.

        These political hacks who take every opportunity to besmirch the reputations of those they view as “the enemy” are doing irreperable harm to our Island. It’s after reading remarks like those of “Heavens” that I realize why some of the PLP hacks are so bitter and twisted and are constantly attacking our present Premier with inane comments. It might be argued that they have every right to be bitter and twisted because that is what their own leaders were subjected to when the PLP was in power. We need to move forward – together!

  5. Alvin Williams says:

    In response to the constant OBA government refrain about what it suppose to have inherited from the former PLP government’s term office; I make this statement’ no one blames Hitler for the state of the world today. The world responses to the new conditions that are the realities of today. Before the OBA became the government they were boastful; arrogant in their
    confidence that they were better in solving Bermuda’s problems than the former PLP government; they made many promises of what they were going to do once they became the government. They promise jobs some two thousand as they told it. They said they were going to stop the bleeding; they convince Bermudians that they would be a better more open government; but before their first year as government was out their boastful political promises have proved to be hollow as their true face revealed itself. They gave more and more tax breaks to the business community while requiring the ordinary working Bermudian to take wage cuts. They have a premier while good at taking the photo-opts and stage managed press conferences; but refuses to answer the hard questions even on the floor of the House of parliament. To the horror and growing dismay of increased numbers of Bermudians the realisation has hit home that Bermuda has a government that is anti-Bermudian and more openly pro-foreign than even the former UBP government and that is quite a judgement. Is it any wonder that the OBA government refuses to believe what it own job losses employment report tells it. That we have a finance minister who insist during the budget debate that the banks are rowing in the wrong direction as oppose to the rest of Bermuda; only to turn around and essentially plays the role of a public relations spokesman for a new banking interests that has taken over the last of the Bermuda own bank; while at the same time insisting that Bermudians don’t understand the workings of the economy? Well Mr. Finance Minister who feels it knows it and that is all the understanding of the workings of the Bermuda economy that we need to know and increasingly it is clear that we have a Bermuda that is not acting under your government in Bermudian interests.

    • Heavens says:

      I read this man’s posts and all I hear is blah blah blah blah. Alvin, please just sit back and be quiet while the rest of us try and pull Bermuda out of the mire that the PLP/BIU got us into. We’re busy.

      • jt says:

        Hey Alvin – just like no one blames whites today for anything to do with salvery – right?

        BTW – I think if you were to ask many people around the world some 2 years, 5 years or 10 years or more after WW2 if they blamed Hitler for their currrent lot in life I’m pretty certain the answer would have been ‘Yes’.

        You started with such a ridiculous analogy how could anyone pay any mind to what followed?

    • Mike Hind says:

      Completely delusional rantings.

      You guys have GOT to stop just making stuff up!

      • Terry says:

        Wow!
        We agree.

      • Lets get to it!!! says:

        We should all be focusing on he promises not the problem. Get to fulfilling the promises made!!!!

        • Mike Hind says:

          Um… not even remotely correct.

          We should be focusing on the problem and how to fix it.

          THAT is what we hire these guys to do.

          • Lets get to it!!! says:

            Mike, the problem has already been identified. Why continue to beat it! Just get on with fulfilling the promise made to fix the problem. The problem is not going to change if we keep harping on it and not taking action.

            Thank you for respecting my opinion as I respect yours.

            • Mike Hind says:

              You’re very welcome!

              And I think it’s an ongoing process.
              I do see where they are taking steps to fix the problem – and problems, because, as with most things, the problem is really a TONNE of other, smaller problems – and are also ascertaining what those smaller problems are and how best to find solutions.

              For me, personally, in my world – which, I admit is one barely on the periphery of the business world – I see improvements. Are they as big as I’d like? No. Are they coming as fast as I like? No. Do I think the Government could do a better job? Yes.
              Having said that, I do think that we’re on, if not the right track, a better one… and one that is moving towards fixing the problem. And problems! :)
              Personally, I don’t care about the promises, as long as the job is getting done.
              (And, for the record, I didn’t care about the promises in ’98, ‘cuz the job seemed to be getting done.)

            • inna says:

              so whats the problem?

    • Nancy says:

      Well said Mr. Williams, BEST thought provoking comment so far !!

    • Yahoo says:

      More incoherent drivel from Alvin… yawn.

    • wow says:

      bla bla bla….get a life!

    • observer says:

      Mr Williams, you are a dreamer and a racist. I support the PLP for three terms, they messed up big time and we are suffering from it and will continue for a long time. You know it, everyone knows it….. but we hold on to race and party before the truth. I am glad I opened my eyes.

  6. Suzie Quattro says:

    “no one blames Hitler for the state of the world today”

    What an ignorant comment. The world was in economic disarray for years after WW2. Food, clothing and petrol were rationed for years in the UK and other countries.

    If you’re going to compare the PLP with Hitler (your comparison I note)then let’s at least be honest about the economic after-effects and the time it takes to correct something.

  7. Navin Johnson says:

    The job and company losses were all related to the PLP not being in power anymore..all of the people on their payroll and their cronies have been replaced by OBA cronies…happens everywhere there is a shift in Government

  8. O'Brien says:

    David Burt says: “If the OBA were really in touch with Bermudians, they would be criticising the shameful actions of Clarien Bank which have left their employees distraught and fearful of losing their homes.”

    Can someone enlighten me on this? What is he talking about?

    • Al says:

      He is blaming the OBA for the buyout of Capital G bank even though they had nothing to do with it.

      He is also spitting in the face of all the hundreds of ex-Bank of Bermuda employees who might have jobs today if the PLP hadn’t let HSBC in here.

    • Navin Johnson says:

      The misinformed person is saying that Clarien is forcing its employees to pay market rates for their personal mortgages thus making it difficult for them to make payments…….the person does not realize that compensation will be increased to make up the difference…..typical PLP propaganda false

      • Lets get to it!!! says:

        Really!! Navin, you believe that? Ok so why remove it in the first place if they will still incur cost by increasing the compensation. Also how would they do that taking into account that there may be many different levels of commitments. So now employees will be compensated/paid according to their mortgage rather than their performance.

        Interesting!!

        • Suzie Quattro says:

          What has it got to do with government? People have their salaries and benefits go up and down all the time. Under the PLP my salary and benefits went down, as they did for thousands of Bermudians.

        • Hmmm says:

          Consistency of benefits program across borders perhaps.

        • Navin Johnson says:

          It’s called a wash. No increase in overall cost. Hate to disappoint those of you who prefer the vast conspiracy to get the Bermudian…..

          • Navin Johnson says:

            I may have been misinformed regarding compensation increase for those who will be having their mortgage rates increased….if that is the case I apologize and ask if anyone who is effected by the change at Clarien to enlighten..

            • Coffee says:

              Nope you weren’t misinformed …. You told a outright lie . And got caught .

  9. Bermewjan says:

    This is an economy in free fall. Prices continue to rise and household incomes continue to fall. If the government does not go into super overdrive to get Mr. and Mrs. average Bermudian into work opportunities that will pay their bills, then financial assistance will rocket and the inevitable social unrest will occur. It is that simple.

    We are already seeing a rise in burglaries and this is only the start. As much as I would like for the government of the day to have a reasonable amount of time to navigate the civil service and get good governance legislation in place, I’m afraid we are just beyond that point.

    Decisive leadership forcing strong legislation to encourage swift, strong inward investment into our economy to ramp jobs immediately is a must… point blank.

  10. shutthemdown says:

    now that you have to defend the job losses you can finally see its a global event.

    The oba/ubp will continue to lose jobs.

    • Suzie Quattro says:

      It was not a global event, and nobody (in the OBA) is saying that.

      You do have to actually read the article for your comment to make any sense.

      The ‘global event’ myth is the PLP defense.

      • shutthemdown says:

        lets see if i can help little suzie here.

        The countries that came out of the recession are by and large the ones that build and sell products of all kinds.

        We have to wait till the actual people who earn a living are ready to spend money to come here.

        So here it is.

        We will stay in a recession for a bit longer because it takes longer for people to spend disposable income on vacations.

        p.s.

        most of the Caribbean is still in a recession, and yes I read the papers from our cousins to the south.

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          You have to scour the Earth to come up with economies that have been in recession longer than Bermuda. Most countries were out if recession in a year or so. Some never went into recession at all. We’re in our sixth year. The “global recession” was a PLP myth.

        • Suzie Quattro says:

          The countries that either didn’t enter recession, or which came out of recession in a year or so, vastly outnumber the countries that stayed in recession for years on end. The only countries that stayed in recession for years on end are the ones which have poorly managed economies, which is what happened to us.

          All other countries have had growing economies for years now.

          And you want to add the myth that “most of the Caribbean is still in recession”. Not true. I looked at the GDP for Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Cayman, Barbados. None of them are in recession; they have economic growth.

          So have you got any more PLP myths for us?

  11. Most of the world has been in and out of recessions during the time tha BDA remained in recession.
    Bermudians need to grow up politically and vote for the policies that will help them.
    PLP/OBA/UBP do not care about any of you. 36 selfish people on that hill Stop being tricked Wake Up Bda.

    • PBanks says:

      I understand the sentiment, but considering that every candidate not part of one or the other party’s political machinery is derided, laughed at or completely ignored by the voting public, you’re kind of stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place in terms of where MP’s loyalties lie.

    • lucky 7 says:

      You’re too dumb to have an opinion

  12. Terry says:

    I got 10 acres and 100 chickens.
    Damn I am happy as a pig in s***.
    Gonna buy a pig next week.

  13. Honestly…Govt….both parties…you have a growing number of construction people who don’t just dislike you…they honestly hate you…as strong as that word might be…it is appropriate.

  14. These clowns tole me i was over qualified to do the hospital job….and they had a foreigner tell me so….

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      I very much doubt you are over-qualified for anything.

  15. I’m ready for independance…and…corperal punishment!

    • Mike Hind says:

      That’s fine. The problem is: we live in a democracy, and the majority doesn’t want that, so..

  16. Looking in says:

    I am voting for the OBA next election.

  17. Looking in says:

    The PLP remind me of Fox News.

  18. bluebird says:

    Poor Mr Burt and others are “DEMAGOGUES” (please google if you don’t understand)
    You see Mr Brown returned to Bermuda and found all his contemporaries were “RICH”
    They had worked hard and achieved but Mr browns 30 years away from Bermuda had not been wasted.And now mr Brown is definitely well heeled.
    As our economy is evolving from those years of the PLP/BIU Administration there will not be any increase in JOBS.
    At the present we have between 8,000 and 9,000 work permits so where are the Bermudians to fill these *,000 to 9,000 work permit jobs ????
    We are not “LOOSING” jobs we have “EXPORTED” jobs due to the previous Adminstrations “RACIST” policies.
    Technology is replacing workers in many areas from fast food to milking cows and the cows apparently seem to like that better as they do not have to conform to the farmers time table.
    I know you all enjoy on-line banking and the ATM machines and swiping your cards debt or credit anywhere you shop including “ON LINE”
    Even “ROBOTS” are coming to the forfront lets not forget those.
    Suggest the PLP please come up to date and not be so “YESTERDAY” and try to “DEMAGOGUE” everything as Bermudians are not as green as we are cabbage looking.

    • Evie says:

      OMG do u really believe that bull you just wrote hahahahahaha too funny smdh

  19. Coffee says:

    The OBA were wrong to run a campaign promising jobs for Bermudians . A VOTE FOR THE OBA IS A VOTE FOR JOBS .