Burt: ‘We Have To Return Economy To Growth’

July 21, 2015

When the Government borrowed the $800 million the Finance Minister said that it would last for three years and “already he is coming back saying that we need to borrow additional funds” which means “the Government’s economic plan is not working,” Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said

“They were planning on growing the economy and their economic policies have not caused the economy to grow; it has caused the economy to contract and that is why we are finding ourselves having to go back to the debt markets even quicker than it was anticipated,” Mr Burt said.

This follows after Minister of Finance Bob Richards said that Government will be executing a $200 million loan facility agreement with the Bank of NT Butterfield, with the Minister adding that when this facility is fully drawn Bermuda’s gross debt will stand at $2.385 billion.

Minister Richards said, “This level of debt for an economy the size of Bermuda is not only unsustainable, but also, as mentioned in the Budget Statement, is the biggest risk to Bermuda’s financial independence and the welfare of all sectors and all people in this island. Therefore it is critically important that Government continues to aggressively reduce the deficit and start paying down on our debt.”

Mr Burt said, “The fact is that the Minister is going to have to go back to the debt markets and borrow additional money next year and given the projections and the way that the projections are moving, it’s more than likely that he is going to have to raise the debt ceiling next year and of course, he’s going to have to refinance this $200 million, because this $200 million is going to have to be paid off, so it is my suspicion that it will as be part of a larger debt offering.

“I think that the challenge that we have in the Progressive Labour Party is that the Minister of Finance has not taken responsibility for his mishandling of the public purse. The reason why I say this is because when he borrowed this $800 million, he said that it would last for three years.

“We are less than two years into that three years – we haven’t even completed the second year yet – and already he is coming back saying that we need to borrow additional funds. It is reckless on his part and that means that the Government’s economic plan is not working.

“They were planning on growing the economy and their economic policies have not caused the economy to grow; it has caused the economy to contract and that is why we are finding ourselves having to go back to the debt markets even quicker than it was anticipated.

When asked how the Minister could have avoided the borrowing, Mr Burt told Bernews: “The Minister could have avoided this borrowing by focusing on growing the economy. That’s the key. That’s the challenge that is missing.

“What we find is a Bermuda economy that is haemorrhaging jobs, continuing to haemorrhage jobs, and a Bermuda economy which is not providing the growth which is necessary to increase tax receipts.

“We have to return our economy to growth. We have to focus on diversification. We have to focus on investment. We are losing Bermudians overseas. We talk about the population, the residential population; our residential population is falling because Bermudians do not see opportunity inside their country and they’re leaving. This is putting additional strain all across the economy.

“So there’s a challenge. The way to avoid future borrowing and the best way and the best protection to ensure that we borrow less in the future and return ourselves to balanced budget is, and it requires us to return our economy to sustainable and equitable economic growth.”

When asked if the Government would be able to repay the $200 million in two years time, the Shadow Finance Minister said, “That all depends. I can’t necessarily speak as to whether or not there will be funds inside the sinking fund for that.

“The fact of the matter is that whether or not he’s able to pay it back in two years time, the money will have to be repaid at some point in time. That means that it will have to be refinanced and as the Minister of Finance said, which I think is something very critical, and I think it must be picked up on by the members of the public…he said that interest costs for the Government of Bermuda have increased. When a lender raises your interest rate that means that they do not believe or do not have confidence in your economy or you economic plan.

“Two years ago he bragged about the low rate of interest that we were able to attract and it was an independent validation of the One Bermuda Alliance’s two-track strategy to grow the economy and to reduce the deficit. What we see now is, we see the deficit not reduced as we have seen the economy continue to contract, and now he was not even able to get a bid as similar and he himself admitted that interest costs for the government has gone up.

“This is without question a very concerning situation and that’s why we have pressed the Minister of Finance to, number one, accept responsibility for his failure to plan appropriately, and number two, to come up with concrete proposals that will actually lead this economy into economic growth.

“I would agree with the Minister of Finance that it [the debt] is not sustainable,” added Mr Burt. ”The question is, how do we get ourselves out of what is increasingly beginning to look like a death trap. What has increasingly looking like rising interest rates…

“What I also think is very important is that I asked the Minister of Finance earlier today, whether or not he would accept responsibility for making the wrong decision in 2013.

“In 2013 he said that we were going to borrow $800 million and the reason that we’re going to borrow that amount of money was to number one, last for three years, which we know is not correct, but number two, he said that we’re going to borrow that money because he was convinced that long term interest rates were going to rise and he would be saving us $20 to $40 million.

“The fact is that long term interest rates have not risen, they have fallen and therefore, his bet, his decision, his poor choice which was made in 2013, has cost the people of this country more than if we would have gone the traditional method of financing on a year to year basis.

“I think that is a key point. The Minister of Finance made a bet with the people’s money. He placed a $800 million bet that interest rates would go up. They went down. That cost the people of this country a large amount of money and the Minister of Finance refuses to accept the responsibility for it.

“That is what we’re discussing. The fact is that we cannot have a balanced economy, we cannot have a growing economy, if the Minister of Finance is not at least prepared to admit mistakes that he’s made, to recognize that mistakes have been made, and to possibly consider a change or alteration to the course of which he has so that we can return our economy to sustainable growth and bring some jobs and reduce this deficit which is so key, which is going to end up crushing us all.”

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  1. SMH says:

    MR. Burt, I don’t remember you coming out publically about telling the unions that they should support extending furlough days. Quite the opposite actually. You have publically disputed every attempt at cost cutting, furlough days, limited health testing, reduction of the civil service, extending retirement age….and now you are concerned that we don’t have a balanced budget. Talk about the Master Of Hypocrisy.

    • Extend furlough days to pay for Hanbury and a sailboat race.
      Right

      • SMH says:

        Your maturity is astounding

        • Really Really BETTTY says:

          The “Brilliance of Burt” is Spot on. Minister Richards did strongly articulate that he borrow money because of several factors, none of which today has penned out:

          1. While the interest rate was cheaper

          2. That it would last for more than 3 years, but today this is not that case

          3. How does the Minister explain this…….now he is in the process to borrow again. He also claim he had a better Plan than the Opposition but this is not true, as he too is borrowing

          4 OBA election promise was That they had a PLAN…..but yet 3 years later there is NO “Economic Recovery Plan” for Bermuda. No Plans to “Diversified of our Ecomony”

          5. The AC is only a short shot in the arm, not a long-term solution to our hurting economy.

          Bermuda needs to begin changing the direction of this ship. If not we will all sink together or float together. The government must accept their responsibilities for NO growth of our economy over the past few years. Next put into place a plan…..

          Borrowing is not enough. …..

          • hmmm says:

            The interest rate was cheaper…if we wanted the same today it would cost us more. Burt and you are wrong.

            • Love it says:

              Well said Really Really Betty, sounds like a political Blogging Strategy at work by the OBA today on Burt. Ignore it Burt, your killing them with your Brillance. Well written MP Burt, Well Written MP Burt.

          • jt says:

            Brilliance has a new standard.

            • Love it says:

              Well it tops Mr. Richards anyday. I know the OBAers are out Blogging today, as that is the political strategy at work. But the reality is they can not change the truth. May not want to accept the TRUTH as outlined by Burt, but it is TRUTH. NO GROWTH TO OUR ECONOMY under th OBA. NO PLAN.

              THE TRUTH IS THERE IS NOT PLAN BY THE OBA TO GROW OUR ECONOMY. BERMUDA HAS SEEN NO GROWTH. NOW WE MUST GET ON WITH A PLAN.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Actually they had already allocated in the budget for those. What they furlough days would have paid for was additional monies for financial aid, the Ag Show… Remember the BTA had their budget cut, and they still managed to help fund the NHW carnival and get a 12% increase in cruise visitors next year that should translate to around $11m more in local spending. They have also been making strides to increase our business conference visitors that hopefully should start showing results towards the end of next year. Since their inception, the BTA has done more with less to create and refresh the Bermuda image and tourism product than the Dept of Tourism did before. For $50,000 to the NHW, they got more visitors to the island in a single event then $400,000 and 3 – 4 years ever did with the FBT. In fact the FBT could never produce any actual visitor numbers, or for that matter, any actual event initiatives.

    • Noncents says:

      @ David Burt

      Will you ever acknowledge the precarious position that your party left this country in? What utter hypocrisy. The 14 failed years of PLP rule left this country in this untenable position and you have the audacity to criticize the Finance minister for incorrectly predicting future interest rates?! Predictions which by the way were consistent with Wall Street at the time. The % of workers in our Civil Service is our problem- PLP didnt “predict” that would be a problem did they? Until we find equilibrium between the public and private sector employment we will never get ahead of this debt. But the PLP wont let that happen to their precious voting base will they?

      Bunch of clowns.

      • Ya mama says:

        Lol your people are the clowns. The excuse “the PLP did it” is no longer valid. Who cares what happened 14 years ago, the party has long admitted to mismanagement and the fact that it is constantly brought up to justify the failing economic plan from this government only proves that Burt is right. Shoot down the man’s plan before you shoot down his party, it shows you can actually think for yourself.

        Not only is everything he said in this article true (a fine piece of journalism if I do say so myself) but not once does he try to bring down the oba as a group. The PLP has some extremist, but Burt is a realist and in this case he is right. 800 mil that was supposed to last for three years us dried up in a year and a half and our deficit is rising while our economy shrinks and born Bermudians run off to other countries for the opportunity to prosper.

        It’s a sad turn of events whene only four years ago each born Bermudian could receive a free preschool to college education… And don’t say wow that’s what put us here in the first place, helping Bermudians to prosper is much more important than some fucking boat race.

      • A thought for today…
        ‘It doesn’t matter how much milk you spill as long as you don’t lose your cow!’”
        Had the Progressive Labour Party remained Bermuda’s our Government then we would have not only spilt the milk but we would have lose the cow as well :-( Sad yes, but true!

    • umok says:

      Bob Richards has borrowed 1 billion dollars already. The $800 wasn’t enough for the first 3 years? I cannot believe we have borrowed 1 billion dollars this fast.

      What on Earth is going on in Bermuda? We are doomed.

      • Something U.B.P. chair leaders avoid to discuss in the last 2 1/2 years, just like their media

      • jt says:

        Simple…prior debt had to be funded and civil service maintained. That’s about it.

        • umok says:

          That is 1 billion of new debt. What you are talking about? Don’t try the blame the PLP campaign.

        • Love it says:

          Not true JT, stop defending the OBA at all cause, you are not doing anything good to make this government look good. It merely shows the hypocritical actions of this government even more.

  2. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    “That is what we’re discussing. The fact is that we cannot have a balanced economy, we cannot have a growing economy, if the Minister of Finance is not at least prepared to admit mistakes that he’s made, to recognize that mistakes have been made, and to possibly consider a change or alteration to the course of which he has so that we can return our economy to sustainable growth and bring some jobs and reduce this deficit which is so key, which is going to end up crushing us all.”

    How can he finish his opinion piece with this hypocrisy and expect everything before to be taken seriously. I would still take Minister Richards over Mr. Burt at our Governement’s financial helm. Mr. Burt’s answers have been those far pretty parade balloons… looks good on the outside, but when you get below the surface, there isn’t a lot of substance, just hot air.

    • SpoongeBob looked under the hood and saw Fuzziness.

      • hmmm says:

        Everytime you post, you look a fool Onion Juice… eventually you’ll realize that you have become one.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        You are right, Minister Richards did look under the hood when they got in, what they found was that the PLP had been lying to the public with regards to just how bad a mess they had made of the Governement’s financials.

    • Johnny says:

      The problem is that while the OBA have introduced plenty of ways for rich foreigners to make/save more money, they have come up with zero ways for Bermuda to make/save money.

      This leaves the question – Who are they working for?

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        You have that short sighted local view of what is going on. Rich foreigners bring money to our shores and jobs to our economy, jobs in all sectors of our economy. Over the last 7 years we have not lost only around 2,500 jobs, we lost roughly upwards towards around 8,000. So while so many on the opposing side focus on the OBA’s efforts to entice foreign investment back as being un- Bermudian, they are in fact the only way we are going to get Bermudian jobs back. So while so many on the opposing side critize the OBA for creating incentives for foreigners to invest here, the PLP practice and policies were no still appear to follow the mentality that they should give foreigners anything for their money.
        Finally, for those who complain that the OBA hasn’t resurrected our economy yet and flourished us with jobs, the next time there is a runaway bus again, I would invite them to step in front of it and see if will stop when it hits them.

      • aceboy says:

        False.

        • watchmen says:

          If false “aceboy” you should attempt to prove it. What have the OBA done to match their campaign platform in terms of job growth for Bermudians – whatever the hell that means after Fahy and Marshall get done with the definition – and debt reduction.

          Exempt companies do not pay duty on imports nor do hotels – two little examples of how some compromise can be made to increase revenues yet they do not mind further debt to fund a sailboat race and a failing tourism authority – to name a few…

          Until you put numbers to your words you just appear to be a troll or misinformation hack…

          • Noncents says:

            @ watchmen

            You can not expect the exempt companies and hotels to pick up the slack. They are here for a reason. Bermuda has a competitive jurisdiction aimed at attracting these companies to our shores. The knock on effect has created jobs for both Bermudians and expats. Jobs which put money back into our economy. Not to mention the huge amounts of charity that these companies have provided over the years.

            If we change the tax structure to the detriment of their bottom line, they will be gone before you can say Switzerland.

            • Ringmaster says:

              @watchmen. The so called sailboat race debt as you describe it is a lie put out by the PLP and unfortunately you believe it. It is an exemption from tax, big difference. Also exempt companies are not exempt from duty on imports. Simply they are exempt from any corporation tax that might be imposed on local companies. Hotels have been given exemptions in certain circumstances for improvements and upgrades. It is not a holiday from tax, unlike the holiday the PLP gave to restaurants. Did you see them reduce prices? Go figure who took the savings.

              • Not exactly says:

                No company pays corporate tax in Bermuda (local, exempt or otherwise). “Exempt” companies are exempt from the 60/40 ownership rule, not taxes.

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            Firstly, exempt companies don’t import marerials, so they don’t get duty exemption. Next, the LBA has been doing what they can to incentive companies here, because the only way we are going to get more jobs for Bermudians is to get more mid-level to high level foreigners here. what so many seem to forget is that in the last 7 years, we didn’t lose only 2500 jobs, we lost roughly around 8000 and there is no guarantee we can get those back. Policies that we put in place before the OBA effectively neutered our competitive advantage over competing juristictions and damaged our reputation, now we have to work our way back up again. Remember, it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and an instant to ruin it.

            • Build a Better Bermuda says:

              Sorry LBA should be OBA

            • Ya mama says:

              Actually some do.

              Copiers, Toner, Paper, Pens, T shirts with company logo, embroidered binders and books, laptops integrated systems the list can go on forever.

              Also they import talent, literal boat loads of talent.

              By the way we’ve lost 3,000 in three years. Same rate isn’t it… So the OBA surely hasn’t done anything.

          • aceboy says:

            Really?

            Where are Burt’s numbers for the growth he says we need to get back to?

            What plans does he have? Sea bed mining? Swizzle sales?

            The sailboat race is going to bring in a few hundred million. Sadly the best idea the PLP ever supported was the Grand Slam and it ended up losing money.

            I am Bermudian and since the OBA won the election I have personally invested a significant amount of my own money in a tourism venture that is doing well, thank you very much. Had the PLP won that money would have been invested elsewhere.

            There is ZERO confidence in the PLP’s financial acumen. Ziltch, nada, nothing. Burt has no ability to run this island’s finances and the leader of the party appears to be a raving lunatic.

  3. Jeremy Deacon says:

    We hear everything that is wrong, we hear what Govt must do but we don’t hear what Mr Burt’s plan is …. and does he agree that to get economic growth the size of the population has to increase?

    • Johnny says:

      Is Mr. Burt responsible for borrowing 1 billion dollars. How can you ask Mr. Burt for his plan before you ask Mr. Richards where is his plan – other than robbing Peter to pay Paul, which we all know rarely works.

      At some point you have to ask yourself “when does the OBA become responsible for their actions?”. At some point you have to admit that the OBA is failing Bermudians.

      You continuing to blame the PLP for Bermuda’s woes is an endorsement that the OBA has done nothing to reinvigorate our economy, and there is no denying that things have gotten considerably worse for the majority of Bermudians since the OBA was voted in.

      When the team fails the coach gets fired.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Had the OBA not borrowed the monies they had, we would have collapsed in their first year as a result of the mess in Governemnt financials that they inherited. The excess in which the PLP was operating the government financial meant that the only for the OBA to have halted those excesses would have meant massive layoffs to the CS, in fact, every action the OBA has taken with regards to the CS has been done to prevent just that.
        So for those who complain that the OBA hasn’t resurrected our economy yet and flourished us with jobs, I will reititerate a previous statement… the next time there is a runaway bus again, I would invite them to step in front of it and see if will stop when it hits them.

        • Charlly X says:

          LoL at these divided comments ! We are all in the same boat , Which by the way is sinking ! We really need to stop or slow down the rate we are sinking ! Kann We at least come to an agreement on how to survive !! Ud Really need to see a Combined Effort from both government and opposition to feel safe to even think we can survive at this point !
          Bob is not a Builder n Burts not a Bartender !! Lol but we need to use comcommon sense. Between the two of them I’m sure they Kann Kome Up Wiff Something !! The present finance ministers plans didn’t work we really need all hands on Deck !!

          • Noncents says:

            @ CharllyX

            I like the boat analogy. Its like the PLP started with a brand new boat, spent 14 years putting holes into the hull for fun and now have the audacity to complain that Minister Richards and the OBA aren’t bailing quickly enough.

            • Charlly X says:

              Nope nonsense !! $&¢ government is a big ship !! With a monsterous appetite for power n money which effects many people ! By Reading this captain’s logs he said he could do the job ?!?!? He had a plan and that plan …. well …… ? Do you think our Credit RATING ability to borrow today /tomorrow …Is good or bad because of the finance ministers plan ? Or our ability to previously to Oba taking control ? Does it add up ?

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            It is not that Minister Richards plans haven’t worked, it is that they are not working as fast as he had originally hoped, as for collaboration, well it is hard to collaborate with an organization that created the mess and still thinks they should be setting the same policies that created the mess.

        • Johnny says:

          Mr. Richards either 1. believed what he said about bailing out our sinking ship, or 2. He just said what he said to get elected. Either way we are still sinking.

          Now are we to just welcome anything he says with open arms?

      • jt says:

        Facts.
        By far the largest % of monies borrowed by the OBA have funded the debt established by the PLP and the oversized civil service, also established by the PLP.
        We must increase our population and foreign cash intake through less restrictive immigration and residency policies to stimulate our economy and we must drastically reduce our spending.
        These measures are pro-Bermudian.

        If Mr. Burt has some specific thoughts on how to go about this let’s hear them, but don’t claim there is no plan simply because you disagree with the chosen course.

      • Jeremy Deacon says:

        ROFL! I don’t endorse either party …..

        • watchmen says:

          That is a safe hedge…

          • Love it says:

            I think Jeremy Deacon is only fooling himself with that statement..he is OBA all the way.

      • Sven says:

        Mr Burt and his Party borrowed the first $1,800,000,000.00 and grew the civil service to unsustainable levels to secure votes….Mr Richards after seeing the devastation from the inside had to borrow 800,000,000.00 to meet payroll while trying to get Bermuda out of the lingering DEPRESSION…rates are due to increase and our costs for those borrowed funds will skyrocket when we can least afford it…what do you propose?

        • Love it says:

          False theory that Richards wanted you to beleive so OBA would win the government. But today the reality says, Richards has no PLAN NO way to grow our economy. The OBA has failed, and we must now seek alternative ways to stop the bleeding.

    • Sickofantz says:

      Well his favourite is offshore gaming and the mythical ‘Blue’ economy.

    • Unbelievable says:

      The PLP don’t have a plan. They are relying on feel good, inspirational words to get the electorate fired up into thinking they know what they are doing.

      • impressive. says:

        Sounds like you are describing Bob Richards to a T..

        • jt says:

          Richards has been nothing but blunt about our horrendous financial position.

        • Not exactly says:

          Minister Richards has been accused of many things, but this is the first time that I have seen someone accuse him of using “feel good, inspirational words”. He has been very frank about the financial mess we are in.

          • As the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to the trough but you can’t force it to drink?” The same applies to “certain people” when one attempts showing them, “what side of the bread the butter’s on.”

  4. hmmm says:

    Wrong, Long term interest rates have risen. Burt, try to keep up, you are making yourself look stupid.

    • watchmen says:

      by what .25 basis point – get real…

      • Girl on Fire says:

        Well, 25 bps on $800 million is $2 million a year. I can think of a number of things $2 million could be used for in the gov’t budget.

  5. serengeti says:

    So Burt thinks we need to grow the economy in such a way as to reduce the debt.

    Brilliant. Just freakin amazing insight. Absolutely brilliant, from a brilliant man. Just frikkin amazing.

    Erm, when you get a chance David, can you let us know how we do that, exactly? Without increasing the population, because you lot want a smaller population, apparently.

    Oh, and without decreasing spending, because you lot don’t want to do that either. Without closing anything or downsizing anything.

    And without increasing taxes, without increasing any costs, and without borrowing any more money. Because you lot don’t like those things either nowadays, apparently.

    And not 10 years from now in 2025. We want JOBS NOW, don’t forget. We have no patience. We expect immediate results. And without any help from foreigners, because you lot don’t need any outside help.

    Come on, Mr Brilliant Burt. Let us know the details.

    • Noncents says:

      @ serengeti

      Best Bernews comment in a while. You took Burt’s laughable comments and responded with something actually funny.

    • Codfish says:

      And Burt was the PLP Junior Finance Minister. The sucking sound you hear is his credibility going down the tubes.

      • Not exactly says:

        And advisor to the Premier / Finance Minister. Amazing how he can claim distance from the mess we are in with a straight face.

    • aceboy says:

      Well said.

  6. Iggrunce says:

    BUT…OH…MY…GAWD…HOW!?!?!? Please for the love of Jeebus give us a fri@@in PLAN!

  7. jt says:

    I’m sure the oba will make progress before 2025.

  8. Starting Point says:

    “I think that the challenge that we have in the Progressive Labour Party is that the Minister of Finance has not taken responsibility for his mishandling of the public purse.

    The hypocrisy of the opposition is without words…..

    For any blogger, commenter not to call the opposition out on this statement shows true blind following. And to those who say the same about pro OBA posters, lets look at the facts.

    The OBAs plan was to increase the population by attracting back IB workers who fled (FACT) under the PLP, 5,000 of them.

    The OBAs plan was to enact many of the recommendation of the SAGE commission report, a report that included PLP members (FACT) on the committee, a committee not made up of politicians but educated and diverse Bermudians.

    this plan would have reduced our operating costs and increased our tax revenues, on island spending. But the PLP intentionally have stemmed both these initiatives by playing the race card, promoting xenophobia and creating the illusion that the OBA are anti Bermudian, promoting this theory and playing on the ignorance of their core followers. using their surrogate union puppets and people campaign in an effort to get back in power.

    Burts nonsense chatter about new revenues, diversification are joke as any new industry would take 5 years minimum to develop and more to actually provide profits, so his party can continue to say the OBA is failing.

    Name a new industry that can be developed, legislated and set up to provide millions in profits directly to government within a 5 year cycle? and before the Mj crowd jumps in here, the profits, even from taxation on a tiny island such as Bermuda are almost non existent, even if we had full tourism numbers and they all of a sudden were crying out for this experience (which they are not). the crop development alone, plus legislation, security, safety campaigns etc. would take years on marijuana so please don’t waste our time blowing smoke, pun intended.

    Whats next on the PLP wonder kin list, online gambling….again, legislation, protection of the innocent, international regulations, treaties, trade arragangments, access to information, internet security and insurance….years down the line and still limited revenues to the government which still can not afford to wake up in the morning.

    Bottom line is that all we need to look at is the difference between the so called PLP hey day of 2008 and today, the only difference (lets assume the government is the same)…the population size, then we had the 5,000 workers, now we dont. a 5K population who by the way paid for our health care but rarely used it.

  9. Useless says:

    How about you start thinking about how your party is going to get that $2bn back that you wasted and completely lost. This is YOUR FAULT, don’t blame the OBA for mistakes that have been made trying to dig us out of the PLP hole.

  10. TonyC says:

    “I think that the challenge that we have in the Progressive Labour Party is that the Minister of Finance has not taken responsibility for his mishandling of the public purse.”

    REALLY????

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      I know, the hypocrisy he can utter without seeing it for what it is can only be a result of either incompetence, ignorance or deliberate attempt to mislead.

      • hmmm says:

        Arrogance, Burt is pure arrogance.

        • I totally agree, the man is extremely arrogant! The hardest thing for him to do is admit the three points mentioned by, “Build a Better Bermuda” e.g. “incompetence, ignorance or deliberate attempt to mislead.”

      • Terry says:

        We have to still deceive you.

  11. Justin says:

    David Burt makes me laugh. Once again he offered no specific plans on growing the economy or how to decrease expenses. At the time when Bob Richards borrowed $800m speculating that interest rates would rise he simply said something to the effect of, “time will tell if he made the right decision”. Now that time has passed and interest rates have actually remained flat or decreased he wants to criticize the finance minister. Well that was easy to do, wasn’t it?

    However, Bob Richards did tell David Burt’s beloved PLP while they were government that they were on the road to ruin in the handling Bermuda’s economy and warned that a US recession would have a negative impact on Bermuda. At the same time Paula Cox was saying a US recession would have little or no effect on Bermuda’s economy. Has David Burt given Bob Richards credit for that one? The answer is no!

    I will say that Bob Richards is showing that he doesn’t have the courage to make the necessary expense reductions to balance the budget, and it may cost the OBA dearly at the polls. People voted for the OBA with the expectation that they would stimulate the economy and balance the budget, but they have failed on the expense part of the equation so far. If David Burt would come out and say he would reduce civil service expenses by 15-20% in an effort to balance the books he could win the PLP some votes…

  12. SMH says:

    I know. He’s laughing at the intellect of his very supporters and thinks their gullible and naïve enough to believe that. I’m just surprised he could get the words out with a straight face

    • Not exactly says:

      Burt could walk into the House of Assembly naked and claim he was wearing a three piece suit with a straight face.

  13. navin johnson says:

    the PLP talking head speaks…we must grow the economy!…no @#$## Sherlock..brilliant observation…the 800,000,000.00 that was borrowed was to pay the bloated civil service that you created while trying to find ways to generate foreign currency….

  14. Oh dear! says:

    Mr. Burt. It is clear that you are not fit to run or comment upon the economy. Do you not understand the difference between a ‘facility’ and a loan?

  15. Staffernee says:

    Investing in education raises GDP plain and simple. Better teachers, better programmes, better alternative education, a better Bermuda.

    • BermyL says:

      True but you need jobs for those educated people to occupy and in order to get jobs we need investors. With a shrinking population and shrinking GDP it makes investing in Bermuda less attractive. So having an educated workforce could help (albeit not in the short term) it is the only cure for our economic woes.

      • Ringmaster says:

        Also the last thing the PLP wants is an educated population. For example, the other week in a supermarket the cashier was complaining that Michael Dunkley was hitting the people because he had increased the price of eggs. He was to blame. With education that person would know that avian bird flu has increased the price of eggs worldwide, and that hits Bermuda. But don’t let facts get in the way of local politrics.

  16. Huh says:

    Somedays I wish the PLP had won in 2012. Just imagine the state of Bda. NO Americas Cup, NO Morgans Point, NO Ariel Sands, NO Grand Atlantic, NO Pink Beach, NO new Airport, NO Furlough days, No Tourism Authority, NO cuts in Govt. spending, No new Corporation of Hamilton Team, MORE unemployment, MORE mortgage foreclosures, MORE Govt. borrowing, MORE empty homes, MORE people leaving Bermuda, MORE Civil Servants, MORE Govt. MP travel & entertainment, MORE Friends & Family plan “Camp Hill” style schemes, MORE chaos & confusion with Corp. of Hamilton…the list is endless…

  17. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    What strikes me most about this is how out of touch with reality his perspective is and, well, how about an alternative.

    Even if you think what the OBA is doing is wrong, which I don’t, they do have a plan, and are actively working it. Sure, it’s unpopular but that’s certainly no surprise given what is necessary to get the country back on track.

    • ya got me rollin says:

      What is the plan?????? Please tell me.

      • Optimism comes from choosing to forgive those who have wronged you…Many unfortunately find that to be damn near impossible :-(
        “We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate — thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising.”

        ~ Maya Angelou

  18. Spongebob says:

    First off, thanks for throwing the name out there. Whether in a good way or bad.

    No comments on either the OBA or PLP because the party lines are so entrenched, it is not funny at all.

    If the PLP was in power and doing the same thing, there would be comments from OBA supporters. Now it is the OBA and the actions are vice verca.

    How about this, a new political party that represents ALL people and the good of ALL. Take Bermuda where it should be and not where it WAS or what happend back in the day. Look forward to the future which is what you can shape instead of harping on the past and what was done where you have no control over it. It is done and gone.

    • ya got me rollin says:

      I know..I know lets just forget about the past right???

      • BermyL says:

        no let’s just sit and sulk about the past while the present slips by…

      • Spongebob says:

        I said look forward to the future. I did not say forget the past. I also said you have some control on the future and none on the past. Can you change the past? If you can, please let me know how?

        • watchmen says:

          I can say one thing with certainty – the past was s*!t and so will be the future. It is the nature of humanity.

          There is no disputing it – this is not opinion but fact. Think back through the ages…

    • PBanks says:

      Wasn’t that what RestoreBermuda was all about until after the election and they quickly faded into the ether?

  19. Terry says:

    “Shadow Minister” Mr. Burt.

    Oh he is a “shadow”.

    His own shadow reflects he keeps looking at it.

    “When the Government borrowed the $800 million”.

    First thing I read.

    I read nothing else. NIL.

    Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul some say. This is far worse.

    Where is the $800 MILLION.

    Man said nothing to address the debt the PLP left.

  20. AS YOU ARE says:

    But the fact of the matter is, but the fact of the matter is, well the fact of the matter is. well the fact of the matter is.
    I’m not saying the OBA are 100% correct but I really don’t seeing us doing any better under the current opposition.
    And I do not support party politics, Bermuda is to small. I support right wrong and indifferent!

  21. DWarren says:

    I am left feeling a bit disappointed that MP Burt’s comments are highly critical but he offers nothing but vague solutions or strategies. PLP this is getting tiresome–add more substance please.

  22. nomoremoney says:

    we are still suffering from PLP overspending and over-hiring a civil service which is now crippling our economy How Mr Burt , former junior finance minister can write this is amazing. This is not a board game MR Burt.This misleading writing of yours does real damage.