Two Hour Video: Full SAGE Town Hall Meeting

October 9, 2014

Last night [Oct 8] the Government held a Town Hall Meeting about the SAGE recommendations at Pier 6 in Hamilton, which attracted a large turnout, with the seats all filled, and people standing at the sides of the room.

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There was also a group of protesters present, who held signs with sayings including “Save Our Assets” and “Say No To Privatization,” and chanted similar slogans before, during and after the meeting.

As the Ministers left the building when the meeting concluded, the protesters expressed their dissatisfaction by “booing” them as they all walked out.

The Town Hall was hosted Minister of Finance Bob Richards, and the Government previously said the purpose of the Town Hall “will be to communicate to the general public the high level policy decisions that Government has taken with respect to the SAGE recommendations and to invite public dialogue on the way forward.

Approximately one hour into the meeting, the protesters made their way inside, chanting “Enough, enough, enough” and “Save our jobs.”


Minister Richards began the meeting by giving an overview of the Government’s financial position, saying “In this financial year, it will cost $161.4 million for your government to service this debt. $161 million dollars – that’s $13.4 million a month just to service the debt.

“That debt service has to be paid before everything else,” said the Minister. “Before one dollar of salaries to government employees is paid, we’ve got to pay debt service. Before one dollar is paid to the hospital to take care of sick people, we have to pay debt service. Before one dollar is paid for police to keep us safe, we have to pay debt service.

“And if this debt service rose, it will eventually squeeze out these other things. Because if you don’t pay that debt service, then the Bermuda government will be broke; that’s the definition of broke.”

 1 hr 47 minute video of the full meeting:

Following the Minister’s presentation, the floor was opened to the audience to speak, which saw numerous lively speeches made by attendees, many receiving loud applause from others in attendance.

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  1. Conservative says:

    Why are you Union people giving Minister Richards and the OBA a hard time?

    We did not run up this large debt, Premiers Smith, Scott, Brown and Cox ran through $2,000,000,000 and now we have to remedy the mess – although we understand Premier Cox is coming back in Constituency 33 as the PLP’s Candidate to contribute to a better Bermuda.

    Giving away or transferring Bermuda Governments assets or services to established Bermuda businessmen and professional operators locally is a good thing we will save money, pay down the debt and maintain our privileged position relative to the giants in International Business.

    Do we need to remind you lot that International Business is currently the only game in town, time to look past race and allow established business people to properly run these bloated Government Departments.

    • hmmm says:

      Don’t hate on those who have to pick up the pieces to save Bermuda. A thankless task I would not want to carry. If you have to hate, hate on those that led you to today, i.e. the PLP

      • BETTTY TRUMP says:

        Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

        -Henry Ford

        Stand Strong and together, this is a huge issue and we will only be able to move forward as one.

        Keep pushing on folks !
        Great response tonight !! Great first steps to Action !!

        • hmmm says:

          Henry Ford and his mind numbing and attrocious assembly line work….

          Go do some research on those you quote !!!!

          Is that what you see govt workers fit for. Shame on You !!!!

          • 69RSSS says:

            That is EXACTLY what I said to my wife this morning SMDH

            • BETTTY TRUMP says:

              In today context the quote is best. We must stick together ! Together we can accomplish anything. PEOPLE POWER IS KEY ! STAND

              GREAT JOB BERNEWS, THANKS !!

              • hmmm says:

                Do you not understand what a financial mess we are in because of the PLP and what happens if change does not take place.

                When there is no money, they won’t get paid. End of.

                That is the reality. Do they want a shot at preventing that by being part of the changes or do they just want to turn up one day and the doors be closed.

              • Ringmaster says:

                The only way people will understand is to call for a General Strike. United We Stand, Divided We Fall. People Power is Key. However, calls from the workers to have a General Strike will be repulsed by the BIU. It is only then that the workers and non believers will see that not only Bermuda is broke, but also the BIU. Perhaps then the financial mess left by the PLP will be understood.

              • Black Soil says:

                Where was Paula Cox??? See created this mess!!!!

                • serengeti says:

                  Paula would only attend something if a private door-to-door limo took her, and if she could wear one of her extensive hat collection.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          And if we woke up tomorrow with the PLP as a government, do you honestly believe that we wouldn’t be in the same position. The only difference would be, the PLP would not be talking about the needed reform, they would just be following their same policy of debt building to try and hide the fact that they created a sinking economy/government financial infrastructure. They would be continuing to try and use the civil service as a false unemployment insurance and they certainly wouldn’t have published a mid year budget report, because they wouldn’t have wanted people to know just how bad they were mis-managing it, as they had done every year during their 14. The PLP are even more clueless as to how our economy works, and spineless to tackle the fact that reform is needed to our lumbering dinosaur of a civil service bureaucracy. Maybe if the PLP had kept their promise in ’98 of tackling civil service reduction and reform then, we would be having to have this conversation now.
          Too many now are reacting to fear that they might have to deal with the real world in the private sector, where they wouldn’t have almost a quarter of the year off in sick time and holiday, and will have metrics to applied to determine if they are actually producing results. And the unions/PLP/PC are only looking to stoke those fears with anything they can, truth be damned, to prevent true reform for their own selfish agendas, and not for the betterment of the country. Truth of the matter is, that with any reform, there will most likely be cuts, and the fault lies with the PLP’s over inflation of our civil service during their administration, and their misadministration of our economy, government finances and response (or complete lack of) to the global economic fluctuations.
          Once all is said and done, nobody can change the truth of the matter at hand right now, and that is that nobody on this island can afford to have the civil service continue as it is now, and we can’t trust it or it’s unions to reform themselves, they have not and will not do it.

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

          well why doesn’t the plp come together with the oba…make progress by keeping with the oba, so that BERMUDA can be SUCCESSFUL ONCE AGAIN!…this tugg o war game that you all are playing is very dangerous when WE are all teetering on the edge of destruction…”In Living Color”…it’s a shame shame shame…

        • real time says:

          same ole uncaring of Country, same ole unknowing of simple business practice, same ole missuse of quotes, same ole ignorance of how Bermuda got in this mess, same ole BT !!!!

        • C Bee says:

          I agree with you Bettty,

          I so wanted to come to Bermuda with my family by cruise ship for vacationing purposes, but now by listening to how your own government is keeping a “boot” on Bermudians middle income and below necks, …I’m truly thinking twice now.

          So sad to see what unbridled greed is doing to …everywhere, it seems.

          My question: Once the rich have no one left to leech from, will they turn on themselves or commit suicide?

    • clearasmud says:

      “Giving away or transferring Bermuda Governments assets or services to established Bermuda businessmen and professional operators locally is a good thing we will save money, pay down the debt and maintain our privileged position relative to the giants in International Business.”

      Please explain how this could be a good thing? They wont be working for you they will be working for themselves and keeping the revenues so how does this help you to pay down debt?

      • Lois Frederick says:

        Anybody other than Govt. will by the very nature of business run it more efficiently. It will cost the Govt. less and will decrease the annual deficit. If carried out across Govt. the savings would be significant. Bob Richards mentioned the BTA as an example of taking the Tourism Dept out of Govt., no jobs were lost, as those not taken by the BTA were absorbed into other Ministries. The BTA’s budget is less than it was before by millions. We have shaved money from the deficit by doing that.

        • LiarLiar says:

          BTA shaved $5mn off of expenses alone.

          No staff lost their job due to the transition.

          It is >90% employed by Bermudians.

        • Check the Soil says:

          That is where there is a problem – - – THAT IS A LIE! Go back and look at the reports/articles regarding the “transfer” to the BTA. There were 10 workers at the Dept of Tourism in New York – only 3 were placed. There were several workers in the Bermuda office that did not retain jobs within the service.

          Please be real and honest if you are going to post

      • hmmm says:

        Govt gets the Payroll tax money without the expense of the 100 %payroll.

        Bermuda as a whole gets a more efficient and effective service.

        Union doesn’t like it because they like their Dues monies.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          This is the reason for such adamant opposition by the unions. Any department that is privatize means the union would need to re-establish itself in that service, their CBA’s would not be valid, and they know that no successful private business is going to give their staff the ability to have a quarter of the year off paid. Also, any successful business would establish metrics for their employees to meet to ensure productivity is kept up.
          Privatization is a mixed bag, there is as much success of it as there is failure. It comes down to how well the entity that takes it, can run it.

    • Magic says:

      So far the OBA have made the referendum promise disappear and they have no balls to run the country.

      Now for the next trick the OBA has promise to pull a rabbit out of their rectums. Later they will saw Bermuda’s debt in half + award all the lactose intolerance voters free milk and 4000 jobs.

      All the while the PLP green shirts machines will be present singing Bob Marley’s song Natural Mystic ……….Chase those crazy baldheads out of town.

    • Kunta says:

      SHUT DE WHOLE ISLAND DOWN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • PBanks says:

        Give it a rest and lose your exclamation mark key. Such action (shut the island down) helps nobody.

        • jt says:

          I say go for it. I think the union members (BIU for sure) would learn some valuable lessons about the finances of their union. Let’s get it done and over with if it’s anything other than a hollow threat.

          the not de

      • aceboy says:

        You want harm to come to this island? You want MORE people to lose jobs and be hungry?

        Why do you hate Bermuda so much? Go live elsewhere, you are part of the problem, not the fix.

  2. hmmm says:

    Can someone please explain the “Onwards and Upwards together ” sign ?

    BACKwards and DOWNwards together would be more appropriate if the protester demands were adhered to.

  3. Double D says:

    Like I said, who cares?

    March, scream, shut down the island and throw out the OBA all you want. All that will achieve is making BDA appear to be a unstable banana republic and will finally put the death knell on any potential investors and the funds needed to close the financial black hole that has opened and is swallowing BDA alive.

    In the end the financial predicament that the PLP placed us in will not disappear with the OBA and you all are fooling yourselves if you think otherwise.

    But hey maybe the PLP will give us all those wonderful so called ‘free’ things again. Yayyyy for Beyonce!

  4. By the way,someone please explain to me why is it that some Bermudians want to start a new job from the top? Let me be a bit more explicit. We hear people say they want work so Government. encourages foreigners to invest here in Bermuda by offering “deals” e.g. Tax deductions. They will be new foreigners and they must come here and open up a new business, (this brings dollars to Bermuda, U.S.A. dollars may I say are the dollars we are in desperate need of.)So this new business will be able to hire 10% foreigners who will also be contributing their dollars to our economy. The other 90% of employees will have to be Bermudians.
    There it’s that simple, one plus one make two, it’s elementary :-( Many of my fellow Islanders are like an ostrich with its head buried yet its tail is showing…

  5. The only possible thing I see people doing to save their jobs is to take cuts instead of 90 days off (vacation plus sick days add up to 1/4 of the year for some Govt. workers) with full pay :-( These same people must compromise!
    Tonight at that meeting in reference to Sages recommendations there were so many making a nuisance of themselves to the extent I and my wife chose to leave as the protesters marched into the hall ranting and raving about what they want…all that was an attempt to intimidate others but I hope there will be some mutual ground that can be found to resolve the animosity seen in that hall this evening. Many fail to accept the facts in reference to how we / Bermuda got to this point :-(

    • Don't hate the Messenger! says:

      I too left in disgust. I came to hear, assess what was being said to formulate an understanding of the crisis and to see what role I could play in helping. Instead I had trouble hearing because of a rowdy disrespectful component who chose this opportunity to flex their discordant muscle.

    • Kunta says:

      Nothing compared to 400 years of free labor and decades of struggle and protest to get a fair share !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      And descendants of de oppressors have a soft cushion of UNDESERVED SOCIAL BENEFITS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      That my friend is how we/Bermuda got to this point.

      • serengeti says:

        and now a certain segment of the population are rude thugs who want guaranteed jobs for life. gotcha.

        • Kunta says:

          Like de rude thugs that systematically oppressed African Bermudians and denied them of economic and social fairness and now a certain segment of the population are guaranteed WEALTH for life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Hmmm says:

            Name them

          • LiarLiar says:

            Kunta,

            Can you please answer my questions I posed to you below?

          • serengeti says:

            Who has “guaranteed wealth for life”? Is that what you think white people have? Guaranteed wealth?
            Just shows how effin stupid you are doesn’t it.
            LMFAO.

      • animallover says:

        It’s so funny, when some people bring up the PLP and all their over-spending over the 14 years in Government, we told to give it a break, but if you look at people like Kunta, some things are never forgotten. So guess what Kunta? we will never forget what the damn PLP did to us. You will be hearing about this for 400 years also.

      • jt says:

        the not de

        • Truuufff says:

          Exactly. And we wonder why people think we are an island made up of unitelligent slugs who aren’t educated enough to work in our own country. Way to keep the steryotype going. Thanks idiot.

      • hmmm says:

        So you are only interested in anarchy…Got it.

        When slavery was abolished there wasn’t much in Bermda.
        Now you are saying that what people did after that you should get a share of?

        What about women, their rights and opportunities. That is a much more recent issue. Why don’t you advocate for women getting their fair share (as you put it)?

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

        well i would say “somebodies”, seen some reparations…coz WE are out of $2.5 BILLION…more than likely $3.5 in real truths & facts, but…

  6. Kevin says:

    when we can find someone to buy saltwater from us , we can turn the clock back 14 years and everyone can get a high paying per hour job with Government. Seriously i really believe that there are folks out there who live in that world.

  7. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    It’s sad to see a group of people unwilling to even listen to what the Government has to say (The protesters were not inside the meeting prior to their protest) interfere with those who do want to listen and ask questions even if they might not agree with what is being said.

    Emotion over education and understanding.

    It’s become our downfall.

  8. Rockfish#2 says:

    A large percentage of those in the audience didn’t seem to understand how grave our position is, nor how we arrived at this point. They were simply reacting to something they heard, and ran with it.

    The “protester” in chief seemed more intent on playing with peoples emotions than attempting to solve our problems. Additionally, there were many present who were protecting their interests by singing for their supper. It must be remembered, should the Government change at sundown tonight, the problems will be on the table tomorrow morning at sunrise. Then what?

    FACTS CAN CHANGE EMOTIONS, BUT EMOTIONS CANNOT CHANGE FACTS!

  9. Tolerate says:

    If you come prepared with signs to a meeting that is designed to be informative and present a mature discussion on a topic; does this mean you actually came with an OPEN mind?
    Bermuda is ********!!!!!!
    SMDH

  10. frank says:

    thanks bernews for the coverage your team are doing a good job of keeping Bermuda informed

  11. Look at the bigger picture and stop with the BS about what the P.L.P did, this government the O.B.A is proving to do no better then it’s predecessors, so BS on any other day is still BS

    • serengeti says:

      Yeah, you’d like everyone to forget how we got into this mess. That’s no surprise. But it ain’t gonna happen. No one will ever forget, of stop talking about, the sheer incompetence and greed that ruined Bermuda’s economy. The PLP was the cause of it. They get the blame.

      • Kunta says:

        I guess the rest of de world being in de state they’re in is de P.L.P’s fault too.
        LMFAO

        • LiarlLiar says:

          Kunta,

          Please explain to us how the 2008/9 global recession (that BDA is still in for some reason) caused the Bermuda Government to:

          - massively overspend despite revenues increasing during the ‘global recession’ (I will glady provide figures to prove my claims if requested)
          - incur four consecutive qualified audits
          - rack up $100s of millions in capital project cost overruns for every project undertaken
          - bloat the civil service to unsustainble levels
          - implement disastrous policies driving away our one major foreign currency earners
          - increase both pay roll taxes and foreign currency purchase tax in the middle of what BDA’s deepest ever recession (depression?)
          - failed to audit the $3bn underfunded pension plans for almost the last 10 years of their reign (their = PLP)

          Also, you keep on noting the rest of the world. However, why have none of our major trading partners and/or similar sized/structured economies recorded 6 years of negative GDP growth? The vast majority have recorded growth from 2010 onwards.

          I am not looking to fight with you or get into a pissing match either. I just want you to explain to me how the ‘global recession’ caused all these issues in BDA?

          Pretty please?

        • serengeti says:

          The rest of the world has been out of recession since 2009.
          Explain that.

        • jt says:

          You really can;t be this thisck. Seriously.

        • animallover says:

          Listen Kunta, the rest of the world are not in recession, learn your facts. There were many countries that were not in a recession, and yes the PLP did this to us, bottom line.

          • Navin Johnson says:

            and Kunta please get it right…Bermuda is not in a recession…we are in a depression and there is a difference…..there is a solution though just reelect the PLP and have them hire all of the unemployed and give them civil service jobs…Voila!we are out of depression and have 100% employment again just get a printing press and print money….we are in a slow and steady decline with no end in sight….

    • Tolerate says:

      “Look at the bigger picture”. I agree to a point. BUT, when that same PLP Party continues to point fingers and mislead people to make accusations at the current government as if they did NO wrong; it becomes unacceptable. From the OBA’s point; at times you have to defend yourself. As much as I hate hearing the PLP did this and the PLP did that; I also hate hearing the constant moaning and fictitious information provided by the PLP. Hell, this is the same group that instead of helping move Bermuda forward, have done the exact opposite. Are they showing up for their job in the House as their voters voted them in to do? Or are they still throwing a tantrum? Personally if you are not going to show up and do the work I voted you in to do, than I don’t want to hear any BS from ya. So shut the hell up.
      I think they are working the angle of possibly starting an uprising if they don’t get their way (words pretty close to Dr. Brown).Taking advantage of people who are in a bad way, the same state they put them in from their bad governing. Until they take responsibility and help move Bermuda forward with Bermuda’s best interest in mind and NOT their own personal goals; I will NEVER vote for them again. Hell, win back the Government; stop trying to steal it back. They have done NOTHING to show they deserve to be the Government, but hint at matters of forcible taking it back? I dread the day they start to believe this possible and marches turn ugly and as Kunta says “Shut the Island down”, Because there are many Bermudians that DO NOT agree with this direction; and thinking the person who shouts the loudest wins the battle is a false assumption.
      And NO this is not a threat but merely an observation…….

  12. Meeeee says:

    Bernews, thanks for the excellent coverage. It’s so damn nice to be able to hear and see things first hand without being filtered.

    This I can see and hear for myself as if I were there.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      As long as you watch the video in unbearable heat and humidity with loud shouting people standing behind you making nearly impossible to hear what was being said.

  13. John E. Thorne says:

    After watching the video of last night’s meeting all I have to say is
    I am ashamed to be a Bermudian and God Help Us!

    • Black Justice! says:

      John E. Thorne, with a name like yours I contend that you are not a BERMUDIAN, and my recommendation to you is that you go back to Europe.

  14. Bermewjan says:

    I couldn’t hear a thing over all of the noise being made by the protesters, so I left before it got too rowdy. The one thing I did notice is that the majority of protesters seemed to be government workers with BIU/PLP politicians pulling their strings.

    It seems that the BIU/PLP are continuing with the same approach they had when they were in government. It’s a shame that the loss of power has taught them nothing.

    Well, one still lives in hope that that they will eventually figure out that no amount of fear mongering is going to detract from reality.

    I also suspect that they are desperately hoping that the OBA will solve the debt crisis before the next election so that they can get in and continue as before… not having to accept reality and pandering to the uneducated’s fears.

    • SMH says:

      Well said Bermewjan, well said. And I say if they do strike and try to “shut da island down” according to Kunta, then they shouldnt’ be getting paid. This is going to get a lot worse before it gets better

  15. Vhovho says:

    anyone else got to the illuminati bit – wowza

    • SMH says:

      What about the bit about using the $800M to buy land in the US to grow vegetable and bring them back here to sell?

      • hmmm says:

        How much demand is there for vegetables here?

        $800m and the interest on that is? The interest would not be recouped. The US tax bill. Is this a US operation or a Bermuda operation.

        What is the annual fruit and veg revenue in Bermuda (wholesale)

        Competing with US farmers (their export) on their soil has a massive number of consequences.

        Interesting idea, but fraught with problems.

        If it would work, it would have been done.

  16. MA$E says:

    RECESSION AUSTERITY is not a economic policy it is conservative political ideology …… this is simply British Conservatism reaching Bermudas Shores .

    “Growth in a Time of Debt”, also known by its authors’ names as Reinhart–Rogoff, is an economics paper by American economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff published in a non peer-reviewed issue of the American Economic Review in 2010. Politicians, commentators, and activists widely cited the paper in political debates over the effectiveness of austerity in fiscal policy for debt-burdened economies.The paper argues that when “gross external debt reaches 60 percent of GDP”, a country’s annual growth declined by two percent, and “for levels of external debt in excess of 90 percent” GDP growth was “roughly cut in half.” Appearing in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007–2008, it provided support for pro-austerity policies.

    The paper was published in an annual “Papers and Proceedings” edition of The American Economic Review that was not subject to the same peer-review standards that other editions use before publication. Reinhart and Rogoff did not publish the data sample upon which they based their conclusions, but they made it available upon request to Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin, who then closely examined the data used in the study.
    When properly calculated, the average real GDP growth rate for countries carrying a public-debt-to-GDP ratio of over 90 percent is actually 2.2 percent, not −0.1 percent as published in Reinhart and Rogoff. That is, contrary to RR, average GDP growth at public debt/GDP ratios over 90 percent is not dramatically different than when debt/GDP ratios are lower.

    Ash concluded that the “combination of the collapse of the empirical result that high public debt is inevitably associated with greatly reduced GDP growth and the weakness of the theoretical mechanism under current conditions, … render the Reinhart and Rogoff point close to irrelevant for current public policy debate

    ” austerity has been sold on false pretenses. For three years, the turn to austerity has been presented not as a choice but as a necessity. Economic research, austerity advocates insisted, showed that terrible things happen once debt exceeds 90 percent of G.D.P. But “economic research” showed no such thing; a couple of economists made that assertion, while many others disagreed. Policy makers abandoned the unemployed and turned to austerity because they wanted to, not because they had to. ” – Paul Krugman
    Nobel Prize-winning Princeton economist on the Methodological flaws found in their 2010 paper ( Growth In The Time of Debt)

    This same debunked paper deemed Irrelevent by Economists which British Conservative Party MP & Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne relied on paper to portray excess debt as the universal cause of financial crises: “As Rogoff and Reinhart demonstrate convincingly, all financial crises ultimately have their origins in one thing.”

    • Trulytruly says:

      UK has the fastest growing economy in Europe into next year. Austerity seems to have worked for them. Criticized to the cows came home by other even here. Go check for yourselves. UK is looking up.

      • MA$E says:

        UK GDP is yet to return to pre Economic crisis levels . so yes if you let your economy tank far enough even a 2 – 3 % growth rate looks impressive. Meanwhile Canada, Norway, Austrailia and many other countries that increased spending are well above the pre 2008 crash GDP levels all without having massive cuts to social programs and government workers.

        • hmmm says:

          Canada are now struggling.

        • Lois Frederick says:

          Not surprising you mention those specific countries as they actually had the reserves (savings) to spend. Had we not spent and borrowed so much before the recession/ depression hit us we could then have borrowed to stimulate. As it is now we are borrowing to make ends meet and only just. A few more years of borrowing just to pay the bills and we will default as the debt payments will rise to the point of us being unable to pay. Then what? The UK will step in and runs our financial affairs. Imagine how that will go over with the already angry protestors. Better the devil you know…because if you think Bob Richards is uncaring you ain’t seen nothing yet.

      • Smh says:

        They can also print their own money, have a large, increasing population and natural resources.

      • MA$E says:

        Im not saying we carry on as normal no but the discussion im hearing from the finance minister seems to have little to do with economic theory and more to do with his politial views on social spending.
        With defecit ratios of around 28% Bermuda is far from the panic zone contrarty to the ministers assertions that its a economic dooms day.
        The Bermuda Government needs to spending on infastructure and on diversifying our international business sector.
        Id like to see then government actually try and grow the economy.
        Not with gimics but real attempts at diversification.
        Why arent we talking about having more than 3 lending institutions on island ? where are the venture capital firms ?

        Austerity is a myth … the simpleist example is the US after the great depression The New Deal and then later the war effort led to massive spending from the Government that then lead to the greatest time of prosperity in the US the Middle Class was Born not from Austerity in the great Depression but spending.

        • hmmm says:

          Are you Paula Cox?

        • Girl on Fire says:

          @ MA$E: The problem with your analysis is that you are using a GDP/DEBT ratio (not deficit – these are not the same things). You need to understand what this ratio means: it indicates the country’s ability to pay back debt, and can be interpreted as the number of years needed to pay back debt if a country pointed its resources to debt repayment.

          That ONLY makes sense in countries where the tax structure is based on a certain % of GDP. Bermuda’s GDP is primarily earned by IB, and BY LAW cannot be subject to tax until 2035. Therefore, the ratio is MEANINGLESS to Bermuda.The important consideration (and one which all analysts will use when evaluating our rating, is whether the debt is SUSTAINABLE, i.e. can we continue to repay the interest on our debt without refinancing OR harming economic growth. THAT is our problem – we cannot repay the amounts we owe without limiting either or both of: (1) the size of our civil service or (2) reducing the services our government can provide.

          You are a voter. Which would you prefer?

  17. Lombard says:

    After watching the entire video. I gained so much respect for Bob Richards.
    I do not know any man who could sit there in the spotlight and keep their cool
    after listening to such disrespectful and ignorant people who would not let him speak.
    And the fact that he answered their questions so calmly and politely is amazing.

    It is also funny that all these people are angry at that OBA, when the party they support is responsible
    for more than half of their problems they complained about.

    Props to Mr. Richards

    • Lois Frederick says:

      I was there and I felt for him as he took the abuse. It was brutal.

  18. MB says:

    MA$E – So we should just keep calm and carry on until the UK and IMF take us over and do what they want to us? I am not understanding your point. This is not about austerity in Bermuda because the alternative in Europe and other countries is to rely on the economy turning around and making money to clear debt.
    In Bermuda you must know we have no exports so we have no way to make money save for intl business and it would have to really boom to pay off our debt. Tourism too. But many in this island think intl business should be strong armed more and some even think we are better off without it, so what is YOUR solution?

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Larry Burchall reminded us all on Everest’s show this afternoon that any talk of taxing IB in any form was simply out of the question and a complete non starter. In 2011 the PLP Govt. extended the law that states that IB would not pay any taxes in Bermuda. The present law is coming to an end in 2016. It has existed in law since 1966. If Bermuda changed the law, IB would be so pissed off at Bermuda many would leave and others would not come. Taxing IB is off the table. As Larry said, the law was supported by all political sides.

      • No Tax on IB says:

        A small correction. The Exempted Undertakings Tax Protection Act 1966 was extended by Paula Cox to 2035.

    • MA$E says:

      Im not saying we carry on as normal no but the discussion im hearing from the finance minister seems to have little to do with economic theory and more to do with his politial views on social spending.
      With defecit ratios of around 28% Bermuda is far from the panic zone contrarty to the ministers assertions that its a economic dooms day.
      The Bermuda Government needs to spending on infastructure and on diversifying our international business sector.
      Id like to see then government actually try and grow the economy.
      Not with gimics but real attempts at diversification.
      Why arent we talking about having more than 3 lending institutions on island ? where are the venture capital firms ?

      Austerity is a myth … the simpleist example is the US after the great depression The New Deal and then later the war effort led to massive spending from the Government that then lead to the greatest time of prosperity in the US the Middle Class was Born not from Austerity in the great Depression but spending.

      • Hmmm says:

        Woa, are you Paula? Bermuda is a developed economy, increasing capital spending will NOT lead to steady sustainable economic growth.

        We need money coming into the island, not going out of the country. It is as simple as that. Borrowing that money as a source for spending is unsustainable.

        Rates will rise and our credit rating will decline upon refinancing. Double whammy on interest costs in the future. What happened when there is no appetitie to lend?

        We need to redce our cost burden and increase the number of opportunities on the island from outside investnent.

        Spend spend borrow spend when we don’t have encough to cover the current cost won’t work in Bermuda.

        Lets be fair the current size of the civil service is your concept of keep spending, but that ain’t working out so well.

        • SMH says:

          Hmmmmm….PHEW….thanks for getting that in there. INCREASING borrowing right now would be nothing short of national suicide

      • Double Standards says:

        Well the PLP spent like there was no tomorrow from 2004 to 2012 and yet our economy still contracted for 6 years straight.

        What’s your explanation for that?

        And your cut and paste analysis doesn’t take into account Bermudas economic structure. We don’t print money, we don’t produce/manufacture/export anything as a means to bring in foreign currency, we don’t have millions of people to tax etc.

        But I do agree with the diversification but however.

      • serengeti says:

        Well maybe you’d better take a look at what happened in Greece and Cyprus, for example.

        Forced austerity because their governments had borrowed more than can be repaid.

        By ‘deficit ratio of 28%’, you mean you think it’s fine for Bda to spend 28% more than it earns. In the short term, a year or two, it wouldn’t be a problem. But if you do it year in and year out, as we have, with no thought in mind to repay, it will come to a bad end. Particularly in an economy like Bermuda, reliant mostly on one thing, and where any expansion of that sole successful industry is met with racist placards.

  19. Navin Johnson says:

    it was easy for Mr Richards to remain calm as he was the only person in the room who knew he was right……

    • Out of sixty odd thousand people x amount are eligible to vote, and what we saw was approximately 10% of that population…So how far are they to get without creating trouble, not only for themselves but for the whole Island?
      If “u’lot” claim to be smart then please, stop being so damn ignorant and be a part of the solution and cease being, “a thorn in the side” we can do without anymore trouble :-(

  20. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    So much for transparency!

    Unfortunately with in reason some did not appear to comprehend the presentation.

    ” We BUY food , we SELL service.”

    In order for Bermuda to recover we need to enhance three simple RED CARPET projects .

    1) Improve the efficiency of Government.

    2) Improve our tourism product.

    3) Encourage additional International Business.

  21. Triangle Drifter says:

    The only thing worse than people who don’t know are those who don’t know that they don’t know & don’t want to know what they don’t know.

    There was a perfect display of those people carrying the placards outside & then inside a meeting held for those who wanted to learn.

    Can you imagine what this lot would have been called if they were OBA supporters heckling a PLP hosted meeting? LYNCH MOB comes to mind.

  22. PANGAEA says:

    DEVALUATION OF REAL PROPERTY

    REAL ~ ESTATE is the ultimate dream of millions.

    Never heard of REAL ~ CARS! have you?

    Bermuda’s net value is our Physical Plant: eg Roads bridges airport, seaport , your Home and much more.

    Don’t you know that you are living in a fantastic country ?

    The People of Bermuda stop the REAL ~ DREAMING .

    Bermuda needs to re ~ establish its REAL ~ ESTATE values

    *** NOW ***

    back to that of JANUARY 1 ST 2008.

    YOUR LAND TAX VALUATION DID NOT CHANGE DOWNWARD, NEITHER DID YOUR LAND TAX PAYMENT GO DOWN , DID IT ?

    INSURANCE COMPANIES DID NOT REDUCE INSURABLE VALUES . DID THEY ?

    Just because other countries built their “house of straw” does not concern us, they make their bed in which they sleep.

    We are the island in the sun and we should never forget that .
    Because that is our “OIL WELL”.

    Do not let some foreign owned bank’s inexperienced lending officer
    who never built anything, control our REAL~ ESTATE, that which we built with our tears, sweat and bloody hands, or some green REAL ~ ESTATE agent who wants a quick sale,SKUNK ON US.

    There was a fantastic waterfront move in ready Dwelling advertised for $750,000 which is absolutely way under valued. Who let this happen?

    This Global Recession is not our fault.

    This is not the first recession that has hit our island, it is the first recession which THE BANKS did not support their customers.

    So you want to carry signs , Paint them over with your
    HOME DOLLAR VALUE $*****.

    Stick the sign in the ground for all to see.

    I DARE YOU.

    • SMH says:

      Pangaea: Who let this happen…great question. True the Global Recession is not our fault but all the bad policies that drove away many business and almost 5000 expats is our fault. The fact that in 2010 we sold our country to foreign lenders is our fault. The fact that there is less $ available to support the government workers and our medical costs and pension plans is our fault. The fact that interest is now our second largest expense is our fault. The fact that a lot more people are unemployed is our fault. The fact that foreigner are getting beaten up for just being foreign is our fault. It’s our fault that we elected the PLP to govern this country not once but twice. They are great politicians but were a horrible Government, the worst in the history or Bermuda in fact. And now we try and blame the OBA for trying to fix the problem we should have our heads examined.

      • Christopher James says:

        SMH: We actually voted the incompetent PLP not twice, but three times. We certainly should have our heads examined.

  23. Silence Do Good says:

    MP Richards

    You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. You can however drown the horse. I am afaid a few horses in our stable need drowning because they do not understand that they need to drink or at least sip the water.

  24. Black Justice! says:

    You folks readily find fault with the PLP but deliberately refuse to acknowledge/admit the glaring lies and deceit of your government. You are who you are–can’t help yourselves because you are cut from the same strange and tainted mold as they.

  25. Local Yokle says:

    Wow…..them lot were some kind of rude!!

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