Video: Interview With Premier David Burt

September 14, 2017 | 39 Comments

The Government aims to balance the budget by 2019 and is committed to growing the economy and making sure they fix the immediate challenges, Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt said today.

Premier Burt sat down with Bernews today [Sept 14] for a live interview on our Facebook page, discussing a wide range of topics including the election victory, the budget, the airport deal, a living wage, job creation, independence, financial assistance, economic growth and more with guest interviewer Jeremy Deacon.

Bernews Podcast with Premier David Burt 2

Speaking on balancing the budget, Premier Burt said, “It is going to be a challenge, and what we have committed to in our platform, and what we have committed to in the Throne Speech, is we are going to do everything we can to bring economic growth to Bermuda.

“Our budget problems become a lot simpler when we create jobs in Bermuda, our budget problems become a lot simpler when we are unable to unleash economic growth, those are the things we are focusing on.”

“Growth is the thing that is required,” the Premier added.

Addressing the matter of independence — which recently came to public attention following comments from BPSU President and Senator Jason Hayward at the Labour Day celebrations — the Premier said, “Independence is in the PLP Constitution, it’s not an issue that we hide from, however the fact is of the matter is, that this Government, right now, is not committed to pursuing independence at this time.

“This Government is committed to growing the economy and making sure we fix the immediate challenges that are inside of the country right now.”

Speaking on the airport contract, which the PLP strongly opposed when they were the Opposition, Premier Burt said, “There has been no change of the PLP’s position that the airport contract is not the best deal for the country.”

“We understand that there are contractual obligations, you’ve never heard us say that we are going to cancel the contract, like the former Government cancelled a contract, but it is our right to review it, and we will.”

The Throne Speech said “unhealthy foods are often appealing due to their lower prices, the cost of treatment is significantly higher than the cost of prevention. Accordingly, the Government will begin a consultation for the introduction of a Sugar Tax on the sale of certain foods and beverages in Bermuda.”

Asked if they know what type of products this could be applied to, the Premier said they do not, and explained that “that is why we will engage in a consultation process, we are at the beginning, nowhere near close to the end.”

“Consultation is important, and the basis for forming good policy, and that’s what this Government will do,” Premier Burt added.

If you want to listen ‘on the go’, you can also access the audio only version of this interview, and all our past interviews, in the podcast section of the Bernews app.

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Comments (39)

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  1. What a relief, hearing positive reports from our Leader and getting clearification from de Col. on de radio.
    No more sneaking in Parliment to make shady deals.

    • really says:

      So political noise and no tangible results = positive reports to you OJ. That is extremely sad. Or perhaps you are just a propaganda merchant trying to make people think something is more than it actually is.

      sugar tax…..way off

      Looking at contract, not cancelling, but saying it is not the best without providing a tangible alternative is pie in the sky speak.

      Would Burt really want to stand his reputation on reinstating the contract that was cancelled?????…… he is just rewriting history to make it feel different… manipulation of perception and you.

      Creating jobs….without saying how.

    • bee says:

      for the love of god are you serious? you wanna talk backroom deals how about the Col trafficking in uighurs to bda in the middle of the night? PLEASE!

      • mixitup says:

        Oh please! Is that the air-tight case you present? I can go way back where there were backroom deals that solidified the oligarchys financial domination on this Island for generations upon generations, and you present a mission to help others to lay a claim of some deal that only the people in need benefitted? You need to spit out the sour grapes and realize that you have a new Gov’t, like then or hate them.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          You’re a fine one to be telling other people to spit out their sour grapes . You never spat out your mouth full between 2012 and 2017 . As a matter of fact you kept inserting more .

    • jt says:

      My guess is if they get close to balancing the budget it’ll be more to do with increased taxes than growing the economy.

    • Up D hill says:

      This is a relief to you ? Whatever!! You will get the Bermuda you deserve with the puppet known as Burt!

    • Ed Case says:

      It is no longer the campaign trail, it is real life. Time to come through with the promises PLP made however ridiculous or impossible. In particular, I cannot wait to see how they balance the budget by 2019.

      You see OJ, it’s not all peaches and sweet cream. There will be plenty of garlic and onion juice too.

      You get the government you vote for, never more than right here right now.

    • aceboy says:

      LOL

      The shabby deals done from 1998 to 2012? No comments on them? Grand Atlantic anyone?

  2. Stevie says:

    Onion Juice. Get a grip. Plp back to usual tricks. Sweeping things under the carpet. Again.

  3. nerema says:

    So nearly two weeks days after his Senator says independence is a ‘priority’, he finally gets around to addressing the issue. And what does he say? They’re not pursuing independence “at this time”. A half-hearted, ambiguous and limp-wristed comment that will do nothing to reassure potential investors.

    • Ringmaster says:

      Correct, and IB and others who do not like surprises are watching closely. When Dr Brown was talking a storm about “Sven and Johnny” back in the 2000′s IB was quietly moving hundreds of jobs to other locations, just in case. Small talk is all it takes. It won’t take much for a similar move now with Independence let out of the bag by Jason Hayward.

    • mixitup says:

      “At this time is correct” If you listened to the interview you would have heard that Independence is in the PLP’s Constitution, the 20,000 BERMUDIANS who voted this Gov’t in are aware of this, they are also aware that this is not or was not in their platform (could be in future platforms). So if and when this Gov’t choses to explore Independence, then we can open conversation.

  4. Captain r says:

    Independence not at this time.
    The plp want independence so they can rule poverty stricken Bermuda, Forever.

  5. Way too short says:

    THINKING THINGS THROUGH- It occurs to me that the Sugar tax is more of a money grab for the Government rather than a way to effectively make the lower income population more healthy. MY OPINION

    IF we take the Government at their word and they believe it is for the ‘good’ of the people and not a way to get more money- Then why don’t they look at reducing the cost of healthier options- IE:Reduce tax on fresh produce rather than jacking costs up making things more expensive than they are already. Go ahead: Google ‘Sugar tax’- WOW -amazing amount of negative articles on why its a bad idea- Bermuda is not that special. Just sayin

  6. bee says:

    ““This Government is committed to growing the economy and making sure we fix the immediate challenges that are inside of the country right now.”” that’s what the OBA were doing and doing very well. If burty can copy everything the OBA was doing we might have a chance.

  7. A Chap called Vanz says:

    Growing the economy means foreign money as we don’t produce anything. That means foreign jobs will have to come. I get that, but this approach was called anti-Bermudian about two months ago!

    • Ringmaster says:

      That was totally different because now it is the PLP Vision 2025 Plan, except by some magic wand and pixie dust all be be right within 2 years, except Premier Burt hasn’t said how. The late Larry Burchall penned many sage opinion pieces declaring that Bermuda had to increase respop. The problem is even more acute now as the working population is dwindling. There aren’t enough employable Bermudians and so Bermuda can only reduce the deficit, the debt and grow Bermuda by importing thousands of expats. Forgetting the outcry that should bring from the combined Government, the real problem is what jobs will they bring? The PLP chased away thousands in their last term, and those won’t return so what magic has the PLP got that they didn’t have last time, nor did the OBA? And it has to be achieved in less than 2 years which won’t happen. Soon people like OJ will realise that 24-12 won’t create jobs, or allow a living wage or maintain jobs. Unemployment will get worse, not better, for Bermudians.

  8. Rocky5 says:

    Smart people/investors/business owners are already cancelling/withdrawing real estate purchases, stopping or not proceeding with proposed home renovations/additions/new homes/pools, restricting new hirings or preparing for layoffs etc. because they KNOW that PLP GOVT. going to introduce Taxes on rents/dividends/capital gains/local company profits, work towards Independence, bring in unemployment insurance, re-grow the civil service with their “Friends & Family hiring plans”, magnify Govt. Debt/debt service costs, create further destruction of Public Education with unnecessary restructuring all the while “dancing” with all Unions & Peoples Campaign to the tune of ‘I Want To Be Where You Are,’ by Michael Jackson

    • mixitup says:

      Then they don’t need to be here… 20,000 Bermudians made a choice for the direction of their country, the alternative Gov’t being ‘kicked to the kerb’ In the wesminster system the PLP Gov’t won fair and square, so these same folk who so Love this System choose not to honour it *clear throat* for whatever reason, then we don’t need you here…

      Note: Is your statement “Smart People” code word for something else?

      You people need to look deep and hard in the mirror if you want to see this country move forward.

    • Ringmaster says:

      Sadly very true, but not understood by the masses.

    • Politricks says:

      I know of at least 2 housing transactions that were cancelled/pulled out of immediately after the election. People are truly nervous and rightfully so given the actions taken by the previous PLP administration.

      • sage says:

        Just like in 98′ when “smart people” decided to close their purse strings en-masse and successfully and purposely scuppered the economy so they could blame the ‘black party’ for everything negative that resulted, since the old worn out myth that the 80′s strikes killed tourism. Now you claim the elitists are back to their old sabotage tactics so they will rise to be “king over the ashes. I have two large construction projects on either side of me going full steam ahead, and around the corner they are building a fourth house on a former single home property so…

  9. bda says:

    ” Soon people like OJ will realise that 24-12 won’t create jobs, or allow a living wage or maintain jobs.”

    But, that doesn’t matter to the plp. No job? must be the OBAs fault. Missing $800M? …the OBA ‘gave’ $70M to rich guys for a sailboat race. Doesn’t matter that Bermudians also benefited from the AC…when your party is like that, facts and truth don’t matter.

    • Academy says:

      Yep, just so long as the PLP are in charge, it matters not a jot that the very people who voted for them are the ones who will suffer the most, and the massive irony is that those very people will still believe that the PLP are doing a good job. Bizarre.

  10. wahoo says:

    Nice words and bravo for all the public appearances but I think you need to get started and make it all happen. If you don’t OJ will lose her sense of euphoria and start to dislike, and then you gonna be in for some licks.

  11. BermieBorn says:

    Not sure how or why a former junior and current finance minister is unwilling to express opinions on a living wage, taxation, spending, same sex marriage, training or contracts. Unfortunately Premier Burt refused to answer most direct questions and replied with vague references to committees and consultation.

    For a Government that has pledged accountability and transparency, why is he afraid to share his views with specific information and opinions? Leaders shouldn’t waffle or deflect from public scrutiny.

    If this is the level of engagement and openness we can expect from parliamentary question time it will be a wasted opportunity and exercise in lip service only. Premier Burt must do better.

    • Double S says:

      I swear in the run up to the election he promised transparency…

      He probably has to confer with the ‘real’ Premier before answering.

    • aceboy says:

      Plans for plans. That is what the PLP is all about.

  12. Do Right says:

    LOL…..Bob Marley sang a song “Ambush in the Night”

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