“Go To Markets Before The End Of Fiscal Year”

January 29, 2015

Finance Minister Bob Richards said Bermuda will have to borrow money again this year, and while the exact amount we will be borrowing is unclear, the Minister did confirm that we will need to “go to the markets before the end of this fiscal year.”

In 2013 the Government borrowed $800 million which they said was “anticipated to cover three years government operating deficits.”

Back in June 2013 when the announcement was made, the Minister said: ”We judge that we are in the last phase of the ultra- low US$ interest rate cycle. As the US economy gains strength, US$ interest rates, and therefore bond yields and borrowing costs, are highly likely to rise.

“Borrowing three years’ worth of deficits now will save the government tens of millions of dollars of financing costs. This will give us certainty of financing as well. Instead of borrowing on a year to year basis in a rising market, we will be locking in three years at low rates.”

The Bermuda Government borrowed $750 million in July 2013, and then borrowed another $50 million in December of that year, to make a total borrow of $800 million in 2013.

Minister Richards original press conference about the borrowing in June 2013

The Minister initially stated that we would be borrowing again this year during his recent appearance on Let’s Talk, and subsequently confirmed to Bernews.

In last year’s budget, it was said that as of 31 March 2014, “gross public debt will stand at $2.305 billion and debt, net of the Sinking Fund will stand at $1.772 billion.”

The 2014/15 budget said the revenue estimate for 2014/15 was $901.7 million, while the overall budget expenditure including current account and capital account outlays, debt service and sinking fund contributions was $1.169 billion.

“The overall budget balance is projected to be a deficit of $267.3 million,” Minister Richards said when delivering last year’s budget.

“This represents a $64.3 million or 19.4% deficit reduction when compared to the 2013/14 deficit of $331.6 million. So we are moving in the right direction but much more work is required.”

Headline figures extracted from the 2014/14 Budget [PDF]

1-Fullscreen capture 01292015 90539 AM

The last official numbers we have about the island’s debt are from November 2014, when the the Ministry of Finance reported on the 2014/15 First Half Fiscal Performance, saying that “gross debt stood at $2.185 billion at the end of September 2014.”

At that time the Government said for the first three months of 2014/15 the Government incurred a deficit of $63.8 million, and also noted that debt service to date was $7.1 million more than last year’s period, which they attributed to higher debt levels.

The 2015/16 budget is due to be unveiled in February.

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  1. stunned... says:

    all the more reason to thin out the bloated civil service; implement more SAGE recommendations to minimize waste and inefficiencies.

    • SpinCycle says:

      Surely there must be paper trails of where the 2.185 Billion went… if it went to illicit purposes, surely these individuals can be convicted and some money returned to the public purse from where it was wrongfully taken!

    • Think again says:

      Government (UBP/OBA) is always talking about trying to save money! So please tell me why they have continue to hire in govt. The milk man even admitted they drop the ball on that and all govt jobs will go to Cabinet first for approval now on. How did he not know when every week govt sends an email listing the jobs to apply for. He and his sheep get the same email.

      • Think again says:

        How can he been trying save money when he just hired another Minister for $150,000 to pick up my trash.

        • Politricks says:

          Actually the new ministerial position is the Minister of Education not the Minister of Works.

          The one where many of you demanded that be a standalone portfolio which is a view I don’t disagree with.

    • What the minister, the Premier and the entire O.B.A need to do is going back to the drawing table, and put together new legislation coupled with old legislation and address the private sector heavy handily, we keep try to stretch the public purse and wave a magic wand like money is going to just keep surfacing to service our debts, we can budget and minimize as much as we want, the reality is Bermuda is in a crisis that will only get worse, and it is just a matter of time before the government workers start being made redundant, all this is a direct result of not just over spending and under budgeting in past years, but due to the damn greed of the darn private sector.we keep blaming cost of living increases on things that has no right to be inflated at the rates we see in this island, the private sector needs to be taken to task in goods and service and the cost of doing business in Bermuda, the rents are out of the roof, the interest rates are inflated into orbit, and goods across the board is out right ridiculous, food, gas, electricity to name a few, and this is what is killing the damn economy. If the private sector was made to do fair business in this country we can all afford to take a wage cut, but no they would rather see more and more people out of work and then have to go to financial assistance to stretch the public purse to no end. i see very little that was resolved yesterday if the overall population don’t reap the benefits, just damn greed straight across the board, government workers need to survive, but so do the rest of this country that fall in the category of making less then $50,000.00 a year, who most don’t even come close to making that are in the middle to lower scale of the economic equation.

      • aceboy says:

        This is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. You don’t understand economics at all and you have completely lost the plot as to where the blame should lie for Bermuda’s current situation.

        Rents are the cheapest in 16 years. Rent controlled units can’t even attract the legally allowable amount.

        You are on a completely different planet.

  2. Devonshire Devils says:

    Thanks PLP… Before you were in power we were at a surplus. Now look at us… The OBA is trying to play catch-up.

    • inna says:

      And the impasse (as the PLP loves to use that term) of the last few days has not helped the OBA achieve what they need to.

      • Eragon says:

        that fact is yes it has helped as the workers did not get paid and that is a reduction is cost. for those who need to use furlough days they were given the option to use those days and that no change to the budget occured.

    • Somebody's Momma says:

      Blaming PLP is so tiresome. Bob’s has been in charge long enough to make signficant changes. Trying to hold up a chart and asking camera to zoom in while on Let’s talk is a small indication of his innovation or lack thereof.

      • Politricks says:

        He is trying to make significant changes.

        It is you and your supporters that have fought him every inch of the way.

        You and your Party’s inability to take any responsibility for the financial position we are in is pathetic to say the least.

        The OBA inherited a $350mn deficit and billions in debt. They didn’t create it, but they have to deal with it.

        Sorry that the graphs dispute your ‘don’t/can’t blame the PLP’ excuses.

        Your Party destroyed our once strong Government finances.

        Imagine what the so called ‘overruns’ on the Berkeley, Port Royal and Dockyard Pier could be used for nowadays? But hey, at least someone got paid I guess.

        • Sooooooo true :-( Unfortunately for everyone, there are them that still have their heads up their ***** !

          • Triangle Drifter says:

            And they like the view from up there cause they can’t see a thing. Don’t want to see a thing either.

            But guess what, that ‘something’ that they want to pretend does not exist is going to come down & hit them & it won’t be very nice.

        • Onion says:

          The PLP’s last deficit was $408 million.

      • Joonya says:

        He got the point of our massive deficit across just fine.
        But I wouldnt expect the brain dead “membership” to get it. Thats why they are called sheep when they march for every little thing and miss the important(obvious) stuff.
        And no we will not stop blaming the PLP until they:

        1. Accept responsibility for uncotrolled spending
        2. Identify unaccounted funds
        3. The current Govt get us back into surplus position (that is if PLPiu dont roadblock everything they try to do to fix YOUR MESS)

  3. UpsetwithVerdict says:

    A portion of the taxes raised from high earners (IB) and wealthy landowners and their companies should be split between paying off Bermuda’s debt. Its not fair that a company brags about $11 billion dollar merger to benefit them, but then we have people starving and dont know how they will pay their bills and support their families, its just not right!

    • inna says:

      Companies brag about 11bn profits all over the world, Bermuda is no different.Shoot, Apple just reported a record net income of 14bn, all while sitting on something stupid like 142bn in cash! One hundred and fourty two billion dollars in their bank account!

      Do not forget we are but a speck of dust on the map. If not for these wealthy landowners and high IB earners, the lifestyle that you and I enjoy to such a high degree would not be the same as we know it today. We would still be farming onions and carrots to survive!

    • stunned... says:

      it’s always those people with nothing who think it’s somebody else’s job to feed them…

      nowhere is AXIS or Partnerre listed as registered charities. the fact that they make things happen and we Bermudians get some financial fallout out of them being here – need i state – jobs, purchase of goods and services, rents, charitable donations, educational grants and scholarship for Bermudians, payroll tax, incorporation fees, BMA fees …what more do you want? a diaper-change?

    • Onion says:

      Those companies already pays millions of dollars a year in tax for Bermuda and contributes millions more in charity. That one group of buildings on Pitt’s Bay supports several thousand Bermuda jobs in total.

    • LiarLiar says:

      Go ahead and tax the companies that are only here due our tax laws.

      Go ahead and tax the companies that provide 85% of BDA’s FX earnings.

      Go ahead and take away the incentives away that is the main reason for them being here.

      Once you do that then you must take away all the Bermudian jobs they provide, the massive payroll tax they contribute to the coffers, the millions in scholarships they provide to the community, the millions in charitable donations that they have and continue to pump into this island and the millions of dollars pumped into the private sector from hotel rooms, groceries, gas etc.

      Take away all that and see what Bermuda you have left. You think now is bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

      Case study on what happens when you don’t get your financial affairs in order – Barbados 2015 (3,000 civil servants cut because of non-cooperation by the Unions with the Government). Read up and enjoy the reality we could face.

    • Observer says:

      I’m sorry, but this idea is the dumbest thing I’ve read all day. The green of envy doesn’t suit you – you need a stripe of reality to better coordinate your dress.

      • theothersidebermuda says:

        It is not dumb, it is sad. It is sad that no one has taken the time to truly educate people on how the economy works. Maybe if more people truly understood, we wouldn’t have so much of this ‘us versus them’ mentality. Until you educate, you get nowhere.

    • hmmm says:

      $11bn Merger, does not equal $11bn profits.

    • BI says:

      If you don’t want international business here, just raise their payroll taxes or go back to David Burch style immigration policies. Several companies left then, as did a whole lot of executives from other companies.

      AXIS and Partner have over 1000 employees each, but only about 60 at each company are left in Bermuda. I wouldn’t be surprised if half the total get let go when the companies merge – you only need one of each position. So there’s 60 jobs gone right there.

      Think about it this way: an executive making $700,000 a year pays 14% payroll tax or $98,000 a year. That pays for a full job in government. For every single executive job that leaves Bermuda, a job in government has to be cut, or the money has to be borrowed. Eventually government won’t be able to borrow any more and we’ll be like Barbados. It’s a simple as that.

      Look into the crystal ball:

      http://www.stabroeknews.com/2013/news/regional/12/14/barbados-lay-3000-public-servants/

  4. big lad says:

    Let’s move on from “why we are in debt”, and focus on getting out of debt, and implementing measures to prevent it from happening again.

    • stunned... says:

      thaat’s easy – don’t vote for parties that spend like drunken sailors.

      • big lad says:

        I’m thinking more along the lines of legislation that holds people accountable for actions and decisions, and a justice system that ‘actually’ protects its people.

        • Triangle Drifter says:

          OK, in that case you have no problem with holding all of those who made the decision to vote for the PLP, who created this monsterous debt through their bad decisions, accountable for the payment of the debt.

          Is that fine by you?

          After all, those who voted for the UBP & now OBA did not OK all of this borrowing & overspending. Why should they be liable to pay?

      • Franklin Jr says:

        Hey! Let’s be fair to drunken sailors here… at least they stop when the money runs out

        • stunned... says:

          agreed…at least the sailers sober up.

        • aceboy says:

          Drunken sailors crash ferries into docks and endanger people’s lives. Then they get to keep their job and have full support of their yunyun….in Bermuda.

  5. Micro says:

    Make the tough decisions and stop pussyfooting around.

  6. obasellouts says:

    lol….

    you can do what you like BUT

    don’t mess with the ppl

    enjoy the last half of your term in office oba

    • democracyrules says:

      On the contrary. I think the government, the unions, and the civil servants have all shown themselves to be admirable. They had a disagreement. The people peacefully, but forcefully stated their objections. The unions did their job representing those objections. The government listened and worked with them. I’m proud to live in a country where democracy works.

      • inna says:

        I agree. The same democracy that booted the infamous PLP out, and put the illustrious OBA in!

    • SMH says:

      THUG

  7. kiskadee says:

    Wow, this financial course is untenable. And if Bermuda refuses to make the necessary hard decisions then its future as a stable country is in peril. Where is our intelligence, backbone, and concern for our children? All I see is endless talk, meetings, commissions, consultations, and recommendations. As soon as a concrete proposal is made, the protests begin. Then there is more demand for “dialogue”,the radio talk shows inflame,and everything comes to a halt. And this goes beyond hysteria about a few furlough days. Furlough days will be a minor factor in the future. We are in serious, serious trouble.

    • Noncents says:

      @ kriskadee

      Couldn’t agree more. The radio talk shows were particularly disturbing this week as the majority of callers just don’t seem to understand the severity of the position we are in……

      • Ignorance is blind…Sad but true :-(

      • Dontworryboutathing says:

        Because that’s how they themselves live, in debt. They don’t understand basic economics.
        They are always using the credit cards, the banks money and paying a hefty interest for it.

        It would be interesting for the government to do an audit on the people that are complaining just to see how they really live (and I am sure they are some that are legitimately struggling)
        - do they have a Flat screen TV or TV’s with Cable subscription
        - how many smart phones in the house hold with the monthly bill that comes with it
        - what type of car are they driving
        - do they go on trips overseas

        I was in a store the other day and the lady in front of me bought 2 flat screen TV’s, when it was my turn the cashier upsettingly said to me that the lady who just bought those TV’s was on financial assistance. How?????

        We all have choices in our life. Make the right ones and you can live a fairly good life.

        Family planning is a big one. I have many friends who have only choosen to have one child. They can then afford to give them the best and also not have to sacrifice or struggle as much. Having a lot of children knowing that you can not afford them is just irresponsible and not fair on you or the children.

        Everyone is always chanting “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”. You also have to practice what you preach. Apply that to your family life. Stay united as a family, don’t go having children from every Tom, Dick and Harry. Fathers be responsible for your children. Single mothers are trying really hard to raise your offspring.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Ooh dear , too much common sense there . I bet you get 100 dislikes .. lol

          You also left out eating take out food many , many times a week,
          A huge expense when compared to buying groceries and cooking for yourself.

          • stunned... says:

            watched family purchase 4 codfish and potato takeaway at $17.50 each thinking for that amount of money ($70) they could have fed themseves and a neighbor…

  8. Ann says:

    For those of you PLP supporters that hope to be in power next election.
    Do you really believe that there is a Bank or a Money market anywhere in the world that would even entertain doing business with the likes of Marc Bean. I am sick to think they we are probably going to go more in debt to cover the costs of our spoiled rotten welfare system, and yes that’s what a large portion of the civil service is.

    • Unbelievable says:

      Exactly. That guy can not be on any world stage.

      Furthermore, if the OBA does lay off lots of public servants and then lose the next election (which would not surprise me), what makes ANYONE even believe or think that the PLP will just hire them back? Oh please. Like the PLP have any credible plans or points to reverse the mess they created. Get real people.

    • stunned... says:

      aka Payroll dole

  9. Encyclopedia says:

    Shocking that we need to borrow again so soon after the $750 mil + $50 mil in 2013. How much are we going to borrow and how long will that last? Will we borrow again in 2016 before the America’s Cup…looks likely the way it is going.

    Soon we will see some serious credit downgrades.

    • Ann says:

      We borrowed the 800 million to service the debt from the PLP. They had no choice. We do have a choice this time cut the welfare system in half!

      • Encyclopedia says:

        I am not pro-PLP or pro-OBA but just pro-Bermuda.

        Interest on Debt is $113m in the article above, just fyi. It is not practical to cut the Civil Service in half overnight, although slow degrees of cuts should begin.

        Begin to Privatize as many government services as possible and reduce the size of government.

        Wish they had brought in the Casino revenues years ago.

      • Onion says:

        The Bermuda welfare system is around $100 million a year (less, actually).

        So we could cut it to zero and still have a massive deficit.

      • Vote for Me says:

        @ Ann
        Your comment is not factual. OBA borrowed the money to finance the deficit for the past 2 years.

        If the funds were really borrowed to ‘service the debt from the PLP’, there would have been sufficient funds for at least 4 years – i.e. 2016 and beyond.

        We have to start being transparent. The ongoing defict spending and increases in debt are the responsibility of the OBA!

        • Politricks says:

          Are you kidding me?

          They inherited a deficit of over $350mn! They borrowed the money to service the deficit that the PLP created!

          So of course they had to borrow to service the deficit and financial obligations that your beloved PLP created in the first place. In early 2013 the Government noted that if they didn’t go to market immediately for funds then no Government bills would’ve been able to be paid once the legislated March 31 deadline rolled around. This is what your Party did to our country’s taxpayer dollars/

          Imagine if they took such drastic actions to close the deficit immediately to avoid further rborrowing and debt? Look at how people reacted over ONE furlough day.

          Let me put in perspective for you.

          Between 2008 and 2008 the PLP increased the deficit by 1,421% which was caused by growing expenses by 43% while only increasing revenue by just 19%.

          Just to clarify/highlight that this occurred before the ‘economic slowdown’ or my favorite PLPism the ‘great recession.’

          Between 2005 and 2012 the previous Government increased expenditure 57% while revenues grew by 17% which in turn increased the budget deficit by 1,912%! As a result of this blatant financial “mismanagement” the BDA’s net debt exploded from a 2005 level of $128 million to $2.42 billion in 2012 which is a 1,787% increase

          These are facts and this is what the OBA has had to address immediately once in power. So despite what the radio talking heads tell you to believe the PLP are the one and only source of our financial issues as of now.

          • Ann says:

            How can anyone dislike this statement? People need to stop sticking their heads in the sand,and stop drinking the Kool-aid,

        • greystatesurvivor says:

          Shh! Don’t tell the die-hards that!

        • serengeti says:

          Obviously it’s to service the debt and to pay for the bloated civil service and public employee costs. The debt has to be serviced. As for the bloated civil service and public employee costs, we’ve seen what happens when steps are taken to bring that ridiculous situation under control.

          • Vote for Me says:

            All,
            The OBA inherited the debt but not the deficit. There may be some leeway for their first budget since there was minimal time between Dec 17 2012 and the February 2014 budget.

            Thereafter, the OBA should have acted on on their self proclaimed financial prowess (aided by SAGE recommendations) and made appropriate decisions for the 2013/14 budget. Their victory released them from any promises of the former PLP government.

            The reality is that Minister Richard’s ‘look under the hood’ casued him to borrow $800m which he stated was to cover Bermuda for a 3 year period. One question was whether he was a sufficinetly qualified mechanic to trouble shoot the problem and recommend a solution. His solution was a risk and it did not pan out.

            Going forward, there are several options for reducing annual expenditure that does not result in a net decrease in pay to Public Officers. If you are sceptical, get a copy of the BTUC proposals.

            We now need a Bermuda solution as opposed to the various uniformed rants on social media.

            Let’s be collectively constructive and start to consider realitic options to address Bermuda’s fiscal challenges.

  10. Curious says:

    This is going to be brutal.
    In the BTUC letter to govt there was a gem
    They quoted Bob Richards saying that the need for a reduction in expenditure was being driven by his creditors

    Cant see his creditors being happy/forgiving when he goes back to them saying he hasnt reduced it yet…

  11. St. D says:

    Tricky – how do we show the world Bermuda is open for business and create new jobs without spending money? You know when a store is going to go out of business because the shelves are empty, the floor isn’t swept and the counters are dusty – Bermuda will look the same if we don’t attract overseas customers and look successful.
    But then how does government pay its workers without the cash?
    Remembering that those govt workers support family who are out of jobs and support businesses by purchasing their goods and services, how do we keep the illusion going that Bermuda is successful? If we simply lay off govt workers we’ll be going down an even more dangerous road.
    People, pull off the veil of stereotypes that you see the world through.
    The fact is there is no answer – let alone an easy answer.
    But time and time again I have seen in business that if EVERYONE works together as a team and understands that success depends just as much on the janitor as the CEO, in fact have faith that the answers are there, then success becomes possible.
    So to all you moaning and groaning, finger pointing, OBA/PLP, black/white/purple bloggers, can you imagine a Bermuda where we get over the past and get on TOGETHER with the future?
    Please try because that narrow pathway is the only option!!

    • Well stated.

    • kiskadee says:

      @ St.D
      Nice sentiments (and I wish it could be so) but the problem is that painful decisions must be made and in Bermuda everyone wants “the other guy” to feel the pain. It seems to be ingrained in the culture – along with a sense of entitlement/privilege because of years of high employment and wages.
      Bottom line is that Bermuda is like a spoiled child. Where are the grownups? I love Bermuda and this all makes me very sad.

  12. UpsetwithVerdict says:

    Instead of complaining and running down others, could everyone list ideas that could be put on the table that will help us get out of Debt.

    • Ann says:

      There’s a hard one – since furlough is a bad word, how about halving civil servants holiday and sick leave, just to the level that matches the private sector worker.

  13. Need Peace says:

    Government is broke because they believe that it’s best to employ foreigners. With that in mind, the money constantly leaves the Island. Workers flock here to work and take from our Island. Unless you change your way of doing business in this “special” economy, we will continue to have these problems. Minister Fahey decreased the cost of obtaining status. Who does that benefit other than the persons that apply for it? It’s decisions like that that will constantly put our Island in jeopardy. This Island cannot be compared to any other place and requires a special model. To do otherwise is equal to trying to fit a square into a circle. Huge amount of money has been stolen from government departments by foreigners who leave the Island, never to be heard of again and all is forgotten. Until this Island utilizes its homegrown talent, we will always be broke. There were always opportunities for Bermudians back in the day and less emphasis on foreign workers and we thrived. Especially in the hotel industry. Tourists dont want to see staff other than Bermudians in Bermuda. Come on people! We also have Mr. Hanbury in charge of BTA. Are you flipping kidding me?? Unless we fix this, we will never recover!

    • Politricks says:

      You are a prime example of why education need to be the first and foremost priority for any BDA Government.

      Our deficits and debt are now solely down to foreigners.

      Stick to the talk shows.

      • greystatesurvivor says:

        As I see it it is a relavent point – We must all shoulder this burden: Funny how its “our” Bermuda sometimes but “your” Bermuda when it comes to cleaning up the mess…Politricks…what an a**- #Coward #Troll
        #goanddosomeworkyouareonthissitemorethananyother

    • St. D says:

      If by foreigners you mean low wage workers who are packed into small accommodations and basically are hear with the purpose of sending the money home – yes, you are right.

      We need to attract the right foreigners – middle to upper class, healthy (subsidize our health care), want to rent apartments/homes (help pay for our mortgages, renovations), buy groceries/clothes/electronics/services (create jobs), then you are wrong.

    • greystatesurvivor says:

      You have a point…this government claims to be so concerned about deficits and debt…yet it does in no way manage the remittances sent overseas by the bloated number of ex-patriots on this island…white-collar or otherwise.

      And yes OBA diehards I know where you are going next – same old play – goes something like this right? “the PLP allowed more permits and permit exrensions than ever before” yes true and unfortunate but the ball is in your court now. Funny how it is viewed as a negative when the PLP did it but a positive/necessary venture when the OBA do it – to some.

      Has anyone even tried to figure out how many millions we bleed per year in this way?

      • Politricks says:

        What does people sending their hard earned monies from the private sector have to do with our ballooning deficit and debt?

        They are still required to pay taxes which are garnished straight from their wages and paid to Govt.

        Please explain how that has created greater deficits and debt.

      • serengeti says:

        You’re so utterly clueless it’s ridiculous.

        Every expat here brings dollars here. They don’t ‘bleed’ dollars out of the economy. They earn and spend money here. Lots of it.

      • Girl on Fire says:

        Maybe we should have a brief lesson in economics to help.

        When people have more money then they can spend, they can do of three things: (1) Do nothing and leave it in a checking account (2) Spend it or (3) Save/invest it in something which will provide more income.

        If you do option (1), you don’t really do much except support the local banking industry. If you do (2) and spend it, if it is on a product then a big chunk of that money IS GOING OVERSEAS. We don’t make anything here, so that’s where your money is going – to the places that make the product, and to all those shipping companies which bring it here. Now, some of your money may stay here – with the store and customs and whatnot, but again, you are still sending money overseas. If you do (3), that money may or may not be in Bermuda. If you have a pension plan, your money is also going overseas.

        So whether you are Bermudian or not, it really doesn’t make any difference as the options are the same. I am Bermudian, and all my extra funds are going overseas too. It doesn’t matter whether you are black or white, PLP or OBA, or whatever. I have friends and family on all sides, and lots of them have purchased a house in the states, or a time share, or have investments, or go on shopping trips and vacations. All of that is spent overseas too.

        Also, none of this makes the slightest bit of difference to the deficit or debt.

      • Herb says:

        how about the $65 mil that is spent on overseas shopping by locals every year supporting the USA shops

        • stunned... says:

          precisely! Bermudians say you love your country but you bolster somebody else’s economy when you shop like money is free. oh but but …they have better selection, more styles,more reason to put self over country. yes, i shop locally before i travel every time.

      • SMH says:

        Wait…I’m hearing banjo music in the background. What a Redneck

        • Triangle Drifter says:

          Don’t insult Rednecks. They are resourceful hard working people.

    • Enough says:

      I think you will find the foreign workers and companies here actually create jobs for Bermudians. With no re/insurance companies here where do you think everyone would work, inflate the Government workforce even more??

      Also – if you want to talk about taking advantage of Bermuda, causing loss of jobs, taking from Bermuda and then fleeing the country I would point you no further than Ewart Brown……….

  14. Vote for Me says:

    Borrowing more money before the end of this fiscal year was predicted by at least 2 columnists last year!! The math was simple.

    MP Richards and the OBA were heralded as the ‘great saviour’ when he announced the $800m to cover 3 years. Going back to market prematurely is the beginning of the end.

    If recent media reports are correct, Bermuda has to be thankful for the BTUC doing a lot of homework to find significant budget savings. It may be a crual twist of fate but in this instance (as in the past), Bermuda owes a debt of gratitude to all those who protested this week.

    The end result is an acceptable budget for 2015/6.

    • hmmm says:

      Is the civil service size too big or not?

      • greystatesurvivor says:

        Compared to where? the U.S? Canada? Great Britain or any other similar welfare state?

        • Politricks says:

          - UK civil service is 448k out of a 64mn population = 0.7% of total population

          - US civil service is 3mn out of 315nm population = 0.9% of total population

          - BDA civil service is 5k out of 63k population = 8% of total population

          - BDA civil service as % of working population = 15%!

          You’re welcome.

          • greystatesurvivor says:

            Great. Now your boss is coming get back to work!

          • greystatesurvivor says:

            Not one to let you get a away with misinformation I have found this for you to stew over.

            Here is the reality you are missing friend. Do some actual research – not just looking for numbers to justify your means.

            “When we add up the true size of the federal workforce — civil servants, postal workers, military personnel, contractors, grantees, and bailed-out businesses — and add in state- and local-government employees — civil servants, teachers, firefighters, and police officers — we reach the astonishing figure of nearly 40 million Americans employed in some way by government. That means that about 17 percent of the American labor pool — one in every six workers — owes its living to the taxpayer.” -http://www.prepareandprosper.net/

            I’m sure your mainstream media based statistics suit you just fine in your world…

            Numbers in the other jurisdictions are not far off very similar to the 15% you call “over inflated” here in BDA.

            The larger point is that most western governments are bloated pigs that indeed need slimming. Please try not to paint my beloved country as some place in dysfunctional dystopia while places you may hold in high regard are just as bad.

            • Girl on Fire says:

              One that includes “bailed out businesses”. Who would that be for example? Places like AIG, who repaid their bail out and government made a fortune off of it. Or the banks, which were forced to take the money even when they didn’t need it. So this includes a ton of people who are not working for the federal government. This “employed in some way” is your clue. This is utter nonsense.

              Also, this includes the military. Please, don’t try and say that Bermuda needs the same. In 2012, the US federal government (including military) was 4.3 million people. If you want to include state and local (which isn’t even comparable to us, as we are not including the CoH and CoStG in our numbers) you get up to under 22 million (in 2013), which is only 6.9% of the entire population (Forbes, a reputable source). And that INCLUDES the military AND the IRS (hello, we don’t even have that complicated a tax system) Bermuda is still higher than that. Don’t try to justify the unjustifiable.

              • greystatesurvivor says:

                It is not nonsense. For any entity that receives money from the government adds to debt. governments finance the expenditures by borrowing from private institutions. how simple could it be?

                The debt repayments come from the taxpayers.

                Take economics 101 again please.

                • greystatesurvivor says:

                  And the fact that you call Forbes a reputable source reveals just how ingrained you are in this system. One could fill mass graves with the bones found in Forbes closet.

                  Look up Carl Bernstein…he’ll tell you all about where your beloved media gets its directive from.

        • serengeti says:

          Bermuda is a welfare state. The welfare recipients are ‘employed’ by the government. Yet still they complain.

      • Vote for Me says:

        @ hmmm
        Yes, the Civil Service is too big.

        The logic is simple. The Civil Service grew to service Bermuda during the height of economic activity pre 2008. Since then the economy shrank but the size and cost of the Civil Service did not.

        The question is – what is the right size of teh Civil Service and how does Bermuda reduce it without undue stress on the economy and financial assistance?

    • greystatesurvivor says:

      That is correct. The BTUC plan for savings is superior to the government plan in every way- the government (like all governments cannot admit to being wrong – it erodes their hegemony.) They then attempted to continue on with their flawed plan – in bad faith to the agreements made initially (furlough period). As uncomfortable as it was to some to watch (you know who you are) it was what that segment of the population deemed as necessary – right or wrong (not for unaffected to decide) that was their right and I’ll be damned if I live in a place where people cannot express that inalienable right as a human being.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        So please tell us all what the BTUC came to then if you’re in the know, if not then your just another sheep being duped by Mr. Furbert, guess where all your dues are going lmfao!!

  15. AC says:

    Unfortunately this weeks actions are just a warm up for the real discomfort to come if we are going to tackle these issues realistically. 2 billion and counting is huge. Roughly 239 government workers per square mile is not sustainable.

  16. Don't bank on it says:

    We have all spoken a lot about reducing spending. But we also must increase income! Government must be concerned about falling revenue from payroll as more become unemployed and the expats leave. As well as all the other taxes that must be shrinking. Compound this ever shrinking income with increasing debt payments…… It’s frightening.

    • greystatesurvivor says:

      I am looking around and I don’t see to many expats leaving _ quite the opposite. It is interesting how what side of the fence you sit on determines your world view. Oh you must mean the “exodus” that occurred under the PLP right? Yawn same old play #tiredandwornout

      • Noncents says:

        @greystatesurvivor

        one side of the fence works with the facts, the other side chooses to ignore them.

  17. Politically Incorrect says:

    I dont agree with taxing the profits of international companies which operate here and employ people etc. However, I would be in favour of taxing the Googles of this world who use the place as a PO box, passing their money through to avoid taxes in their home countries. Other than some legal fees and the odd job they contribute zero to the economy.

    • Dude says:

      i’d like to see Google actually have a small office/branch here. hell they could take over Southside and thereby legitimately call themselves a Bermuda company.

    • stunned... says:

      something for consideration – there is a tax levied by Cayman Government of 25 cents for each banking debit transaction that occurs between the primary account holder and another account holder when the two are not the same.

  18. inna says:

    The supporters at these marches over the past few days, are living lifestyles mirrored off of the attitudes and behaviours that were taught to them by those in power in the PLP.

    Think about, most civil servants live beyond their means all while taking in or having historically taken home (overtime fiasco) good money for the services rendered. A lot of them also have nothing to show for their 10-12 years of so-called “social upward mobility” that went on and simply spent it all away on expensive cars trips away 4 times a year to buy flashy bags, clothes and phones. And i would put a big bet on how many loans or mortgages were taken out along with increased credit card debt.

    Altering this lifestyle that has permeated society for the past years is simply now hard or damn near impossible.

    As my uncle once told me pre 2008 when companies had started to pull their reins back while others simply pulled out:

    “Once the money runs out, Bermudians are going to be poor and unhappy rich folks!”

    Unfortunately, most of the cabinet marchers fall right in to this category.

    • greystatesurvivor says:

      What a biased and myopic view you have. Firstly I am employed privately. Those statements you made represent some yes but not all government workers…hell those statements represent some, not all, ex-patriot workers. Why don’t you adopt a bit of common sense and do away with your silly all or nothing mentality.

      So by your reasoning if you are government employed you should shut up, know your place and be happy living paycheck to paycheck and if you work in IB take six trips a year, have your rent paid, your child’s education paid for and have corporate expended lunches at Harry’s three times a week?

      See how ugly things get in black and white? It is a world of color (that may upset you – who knows?) and of many dimensions out there…try to see it for the beauty and complexity. Put down the checkers and start playing chess friend.

      • inna says:

        Think I might have struck a nerve, but unfortunately a good number of Bermudians live by this mentality, including you and other private sector workers. And this, sir/madam, is the nonsensical-ness that is very common.

        Also, what is stopping public sector workers from applying for a private sector job if they are unhappy living paycheck to paycheck?

        Personal choices have everything to do with the state of affairs you find yourself living in. I work in the private sector, do not take 6 trips a year, have never seen a housing allowance and do not have kids. If you choose to live paycheck to paycheck, that is your personal choice. I could go out and blow my paycheck every week as soon as it is deposited in to my account, but i choose not to!

    • PBanks says:

      That’s generalizing and laying down stereotypes.

      Most civil servants buy expensive cars and take four trips a year?

      This does nothing to foster healthy dialogue.

  19. stunned... says:

    pure conjecture : persons born after December 31 1969 are most unlikely to receive a government pension cheque due to insufficient funds in the government coffers.

    • Terry says:

      Well I was born in 1949 and still waiting after 10 months.
      I have to make a call.

  20. Terry says:

    I don’t have a degree in finance nor any related field

    Sinking funds and debt the average person has no clue as to what it really means.

    All I can say is after reading and listening I am aware that if this crap continues were gonna need a “SCUBA” Fund.

    Great day too all.

  21. greystatesurvivor says:

    Here are some debt numbers for other jurisdictions we apparently and historically have cozied up to…don’t let the numbers scare you…

    Shoot while i do believe that it was the ineptness of the previous government that got us into this position. It seems governments elsewhere are doing just fine screwing over the futures of their progeny.

    http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/
    http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/
    http://www.davemanuel.com/canada-debt-clock.php

    Seems that while we are in a bad position that could well have been avoided what do you expat blogger types have to say about your own mother lands financial status? You know the ones you whose cultures you so desperately try to bestow upon this place?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      The indebtedness of other countrys is not my concern. The indebtedness of Bermuda, particularly how high it is, how fast it got there & who is responsible for it getting there, is.

      Never never forget who put our children & our grandchildren in this dire situation. Don’t blame them when you get old & they have no interest in finding money to take care of your needs. If you voted PLP you are repsonsible for the money being gone & what would have been used to help you in your time of aged need, has to go to service & pay off the debt that you are responsible for.

      Hey, but it sure was fun for those few years. Beyonce came here. There were lots of partys. There was lots of travel & doing it first class. There were Government credit cards. There were lunches. Life was great.

      The OBA is good but they are not miracle workers despite what the unions & PLP supporters think. Tough times ahead for those on the Government payroll. It needs to be scaled back to pre 1998 levels & fast. The PLP brought in somebody who was supposed to be a hatchet man. He did nothing.

      Now there are no other choices. There is no money.

      • greystatesurvivor says:

        I AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY. WHAT i AM SAYING IS THIS. SIMPLY.

        These foreigners here acting high and mighty have skeletons in their closet as well. How dare they come here and suggest how we run our affairs when clearly the jurisdictions they are from are as bad or worse than ours.

        And what do you think will happen to us when the over-leveraged and falsely valued US dollar declines due to the FED’s incessant money printing? Need you be reminded that we are pegged to that currency. This decline will make what the PLP has done seem insignificant by comparison. Please do not keep thinking it will not happen. It is a mathematical certainty.

        Who will you blame then? Rather lets stop the blame game and try to uncouple from that currency (the pound is worse off btw) and seek a way to avoid our government borrowing from phony private banking institutions who by he very means of their lending are breaking the most important pillar of a contract – consideration. They lend to us with no real capital in reserve.

  22. Need Peace says:

    The OBA says let’s keep the furlough days as the last resort? That idea wasn’t initiated by them. Just because they say that’s what they want to do doesn’t make it right. There are other ways to achieve savings. You OBA diehards act like they can do no wrong! You are so blinded that you don’t even realize that those clowns are just winging it! You are giving them permission to be another effed up government. Haven’t you had enough! Let’s demand excellence and hold them to their bad decisions! The airport is another bad decision at this time! We can certainly tackle it after the AC and not sourced out to any foreign entity either.