PLP: ‘Bermuda Is Once Again In Recession’

May 10, 2017

[Updated] “Bermuda is once again in recession,” Shadow Finance Minister and Opposition Leader David Burt said today, adding that “two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth is a big deal and confirms our fears that the economy in Bermuda is not working and delivering for the people it needs to deliver for.”

Mr Burt was speaking at press conference today [May 10] along with Senator Kim Wilkerson, and we will update with their full remarks as able, and in the meantime the live video replay is below.

The 23-minute live video replay is below:

Update 2.49pm: The Minister has responded, saying “For the record, there was no recession during the second half of 2016.” His full statement can be read here.

Update 6.58pm: Mr Burt’s full statement follows below:

Bermuda is once again in recession under the OBA leadership and all those worrying about Bermuda’s economy are justified in their concern.

Too many in our country – especially our young people – are worried that they or someone close to them is going to lose their job. Those are reasonable concerns when 120 jobs were lost by Bermudian hotel employees, whilst 59 work permit holders were hired in the same industry in the last year.

When we learn that there is a recession, it comes as no surprise to those of us who experience all facets of Bermuda. But, what is telling is that it is a surprise for others. It is with genuine shock that many OBA supporters learned that we’re in recession because they and their Bermuda are just not feeling it. But, our Bermuda is.

The reason that so many in our community are shocked by the numbers is simple – too many don’t understand that there are two Bermudas. There is one Bermuda where the wealthy are doing well, and their wealth continues to grow. But, there is another Bermuda that is not sharing in their wealth and success. That’s because this system isn’t set up to work for all Bermudians – only a select few.

During canvassing, I hear the same story being told time and time again, stories of Bermudians who either can’t find jobs, despite having the right credentials, or losing the job they did have, despite hard work and commitment. Those who have work are struggling to keep up as their wages are not keeping up with the high cost of living and they are having trouble supporting their families. It’s painful to hear the story of a 35-year-old father of two who is a manager, but cannot afford a place of his own for his family, but these are the stories we hear all the time on the doorstep.

Despite all the OBA’s promises of prosperity, today Bermudians are still losing jobs and are falling further and further behind. The OBA doesn’t have a plan to fix the status quo, doesn’t have a plan to stem the tide of Bermudians leaving the Island. they seem comfortable in the system that continues to fail Bermudians.

The PLP offers an alternative, and Agenda for Growth that makes our system fairer, provides more opportunity, and ensures that Bermuda does better than it is doing right now under the OBA.

Senator Kim Wilkerson’s full statement follows below:

The OBA were championed as astute businessmen and campaigned on the promise that they could take Bermuda out of recession and stimulate new jobs. In fact, they promised 2000 jobs, and this has not happened.

So, yes, Bermuda has fallen back into recession.

And yes, the OBA not only failed to create 2,000 new Bermudian jobs as they promised, but nearly 2,000 jobs have been lost, and, the debt has increased from $1.2 billion to $2.4 billion in just four short years. These are the facts. Too many Bermudians are hurting and we can and must do better than what the OBA has to offer.

The solutions the OBA offer to our economic woes are bills like Pathways to Status, which, they will surely pass if they are re-elected. Pathways to Status is not a solution for our economic condition – but, it is an attack on the core of who we are as Bermudians – our national identity is truly at stake in the next election. Bipartisan immigration reform is the only way we can preserve this identity, while ensuring stability for our economy and the business community.

The Progressive Labour Party offers an alternative, that is no just quick fixes and gimmicks like Pathways to status, or temporary stimulus like the America’s Cup. Since we have been in opposition we have spoken about the urgent need to focus on the Diversification of our Economy. We have a long-term plan and vision that will diversify our economy and create jobs here in Bermuda for Bermudians.

We have offered solutions of Tax Reform that will make our economy more competitive and incentivize job creation in Bermuda and not reward companies from shipping jobs overseas.

We have offered solutions such of the Economic Diversification unit and the Bermuda Fund which will ensure that we focus on economic diversification.

We have offered solutions for creating a sustainable future in technology be creating a technology park at Southside, where we can attract job creators to take advantage of the well-regarded Bermuda regulatory environment.

We have offered solutions for improving Public Education and investing our people via increased training and retraining to ensure the Bermudians are able to fill jobs in the new economy.

Bermuda can do better than what the OBA has delivered. When Bermudians continue to experience job losses, and our country has fallen back into recession, it is clear that we need a better plan for jobs, economic growth, and investing in Bermudians so that we can get our people back to work.

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Comments (47)

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  1. Oneknows that the oba lied again. It gave the country the distinct impression , months ago, that all was well.
    More lies upon lies.

    • Bumbling bear says:

      The PLP is being controlled by the ubp, Wayne furbert, Kim swan, Jamel Simmons, and now maxwell burgess in charge of candidate selection !!
      David Burt can’t lead his own party.

    • Odd Ballz says:

      Funny , wasn’t the PLP denying that we were ever in a recession, jut caught up in the worldwide recession, or something like that.

      Note to PLP. The problem you have with this form of political tactics is that this is a small country so we all see, feel, experience and affected by any changes, god or bad.

      If you said the sky was purple, your blind faithful would say “yes it is”! The rest of us look for statement backed u with facts. How can you be a good government if your not even a strong opposition?

      Don’t you run your press release ideas by others first? Surely someone must realize that even if you become the new government you should have ideas backed up with the who, what, where and when.

      Don’t be like your partners and tell me we are going to have a water plant in the Eastern Parish and expect to get my vote without saying that you have given it some real thought and know where you propose it is going to be, how it is going to me paid for, and what it is going to cost us!

      • Mistah Fistah says:

        You’re exactly right. The PLP did deny that we were even in a recession when they were in power. Funny how then it wasn’t their fault, it was the world economy’s fault, but now it is the OBA’s fault, even though we aren’t in a recession. Spreading confusion is all it is.

    • Theone says:

      Where is the 100 million dollars that’s went missing when the PLP was in power?!????!??? Where is it o wait it’s ok because the PLP did it right !!!!!!! The oba looks right and the plpsays no they should be looking left so let’s fight about it smh wake up people they are so distracting us from the bigger picture!!!!!! The only thing we should be asking government is WHERE IS OUR 100 MILLION DOLLARS THAT JUST WENT MISSING AND NO ONE IS ASKING OR PROSETING ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. John E. Thorne says:

    Just imagine how bad things would be if the PLP had won the last election!

  3. puzzled says:

    Once again I state enjoy 2017.
    Everyone of them are established in the monetary field.

    That’s also culpable of the UBP/OBA.

    Love to see the curtain falling on such a great stop in the history of travel.

  4. LongBay Trading Inc. says:

    Memo to PLP – repeating it over and over and over again does NOT make it so.

  5. San George says:

    If real estate prices being off by 40% or more is a recession, can’t wait to see what a depression looks like. How many hotels are in foreclosure here – and the OBA is breaking ground on a new one. Big jokes!

  6. Bumbling bear says:

    How did the PLP get Bermuda debt to go up over a 1.5 billion from almost no debt ?
    That’s a fact.
    Explain how

    • Reality on Debt says:

      How did the OBA nearly double the debt from $1.4 to $2.4 billion in 4 short years?!

      • Navin Johnson says:

        By borrowing $800 million to pay the bloated civil service created by the PLP…better to lay them off?

      • Bumbling bear says:

        They inherited a country which was operating at a $300,000-400,000 deficit from the PLP.
        That’s why the people voted the PLP out and while many might not favor the oba, they will not vote the PLP in again.
        The PLP will lose the election

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          To correct your figures, the PLP were running Bermuda at a $400,000,000 deficit. You forgot 3 zeros. Not something you can roll back from in a couple years in an economy our size

          • Zevon says:

            They started $150m in debt and ended up with $1.6bn, most of it in the last 5 years, and in an economy that they were deliberately shrinking.

        • Humphrey says:

          I won’t vote plp again,to many all out for themselves.

  7. watching says:

    Well done Senator Wilkerson and Mr. Burt.

    The numbers don’t lie.
    Bermudians are still losing jobs, yet guest workers are gaining jobs.

    • Kat says:

      @watching, are you saying the civil servants in the Dept of Immigration aren’t doing their job? Or is your point that Bermudians need to ensure they’re getting trained in areas where there are abundant jobs?

      • Odd Ballz says:

        When was the last time you went to immigration and were treated by helpful , organized and friendly staff? Certainly hasn’t been my experience. They treated you as if you are an inconvenience. TCE was like that too and I will agree that, TCD and the seatbelt law are the only improvement he PLP made.

    • Comfortably numb says:

      Perhaps if the Bermudians showed up on time, every day, with a good work ethic as the guest workers do then those numbers would be reversed.

    • Anbu says:

      Ya burt numbers. Christ you lot are just plain old followers. You are nothing like us average bermudians.

    • paperclip says:

      @watching If that’s true, which I doubt, then perhaps you should train for the jobs which are going to guest workers, and then be willing to put in the effort to do the job once you’ve got it.

    • Bumbling bear says:

      You guys are kidding yourselves if you think the swing voter is gonna vote the PLP back in when people know the PLP is the same now as they were in 2012!
      Not gonna happen.
      PLP will lose the election

    • Odd Ballz says:

      You have to apply for a job to get it, and go to work to keep it. If someone you know hasn’t done that, the they are the problem, not foreign workers. However, I will agree that many of these workers are exploited, underpaid, overworked and treated unfairly by local owners. Some, not most.

  8. Know it All says:

    To be honest, they are correct. But its politrix at play from all now. The popularity contest is starting to gear up in full swing now with promises to fix street lights and install speedbumps to be plentyful, along with how a single MP will solve all the crime issues. The popcorn stall should have good business now.

  9. Rasta says:

    If the PLP make govt, Bermuda will be in recession forever.

    • Mistah Fistah says:

      If they get in, we’ll have fancy new things for about a year to help pull the wool over our eyes and then we’ll default on all our loans and become a truly third world country. Then we will really see what hardship is, and that will affect every single one of us.

  10. Not Sure says:

    Contrary to PLP Narrative:

    The Bermuda economy in 2017 is projected to grow at a higher pace than 2016, conditional on higher investment in the construction sector, increased economic activity related to the America’s Cup, positive growth in tourism and steady demand for nancial services in the international business sector.
    For 2017 the Government will continue with its two-track strategy to stimulate economic activity and bring much needed control to the public purse.

    There are encouraging signs that Bermuda’s economy is moving in the right direction. The Minister’s de cit reduction strategy has seen the rate of increase in Bermuda’s national debt slow, and the Government remains committed to reducing debt
    as an overriding priority. Preventing sustained increases in the national
    debt is of paramount importance, to maintain Bermuda’s sovereign debt rating and avoid further increases in debt service costs.

  11. Dangerous and irresponsible words Mr Burt. Careful what you wish for as you may just trigger a recession.

  12. stop mis-info says:

    Too many street accountants, too many street economists!

    Everyone thinks they know what they talking about when so far from the truth. Please people stop making this stuff up. Any relevant arguments i want to see referenced back to Financial Statements and/or third party reports and documentation.

  13. Rick is a D says:

    Burt math at it again…seriously why did i vote for you lot last time….I can’t do it again. Lies Lies and more lies, misinformation just to get your power back

  14. style says:

    If the PLP get back in you will see a RECESSION think ya hurting now with what they have to offer hell half off them came from the Old UBP anyway they had a come to Jesus moment as Kim Swan said after all his trashing of the same party he now belongs to with Wayne and the rest please don’t make me start laughing get real people at least the old PLP had some backbone and some compitiant people with some good ideas and values

  15. wahoo says:

    Haha. You should read the minister’s response it clearly shows how poor an understanding the plp have of economics. Pathetic, they should be made to apologize for their own stupidity but this does allow us to see what effect the AC has on our economy so for that I thank them.

  16. Cowpoly says:

    Burt will save the day….the rebirth of the over populated civil service.

  17. Janice says:

    Let’s face it the PLP are masters in putting Bermuda in recession spend spend spend with a session of Beyoncé

    • Jadon says:

      PLP put the whole world in recession right? Your a joke.

      • Mistah Fistah says:

        The whole world wasn’t in recession. Countries that were fiscally responsible were able to weather the economic storm. If Bermuda had been run with fiscal responsibility then, we would be in a much better position today.

      • Humphrey says:

        I hope remembers that he Has to represent everyone, when he and the biu finish and everyone had left what will he tell his people let’s go back to the farm

  18. Jadon says:

    @stop mis-info…. I didn’t hear you saying anything when they say Ewart Brown did all they claim. Did you see any financial records stating that? I didn’t think so. Been investing doctor Brown for 7 years… seen any financials stating he did it! One way street with you OBA followers!!!

  19. karen says:

    Burt instead of running your month GO OUT and create 2,000.00 or more jobs then all you do is TALK, TALK, you are so TRANSPARENT that YOU and the PLP are so jealous of the OBA, go and do everything YOU and your party are accusing the OBA of not doing, then maybe just maybe people will start believing, and by the way where is our TAX PAYERS MONEY, Yes while you where in POWER, it ALL went MISSING, and up to today you the PLP have still NOT answered that question ???????????????? where is it ?????????????????????

  20. Trump supporter says:

    Cmon they must know what there talking about, I mean look how much cash they left the oba..

  21. wahoo says:

    How come they both squinting at de camera?

  22. Bullseye says:

    What upsets me the most is that the PLP have the plans to diversify the economy but they won’t share them. Apparently they have to be in power to share the solution. If that is not four years of selfishness then I don’t know what is.

  23. Bermy bud says:

    YA boy went new York and saw the Trump advisors!

  24. bda says:

    For many of us the recession hasn’t come to an end yet

  25. Bermudian says:

    Lord help us if the PLP win the next election. They haven’t a clue! The only thing they progressed at was divide the country and spend money without accountability.