Full Text: Opposition Reply To 2018/19 Budget

February 23, 2018 | 2 Comments

The Budget “does not deliver on all its promises” and “many of the policies presented are entirely aspirational in nature,” Opposition Leader and Shadow Finance Minister Jeanne Atherden said as she delivered the Opposition’s Reply to the 2018/19 Budget in the House of Assembly today [Feb 23].

“The OBA has paved the way. We have brought Bermuda this far. Bermudians are relying on the Government to take us the rest of the way,” Ms Atherden said.

“The OBA stopped the decline in the economy by improving the efficiency of Government without laying off Government workers. We brought public spending under control, while ensuring key investments in Bermuda and her people.

Live video replay below, fast forward past the first few minutes to when it actually begins

“I think it would be helpful to remind Bermudians how we got ourselves into this current debt situation. I would ask you to cast your mind back to when, in my opinion, we started down the slippery slopes.

Ms Atherden said “the PLP Government of the day stimulated an already heated economy” which “was compounded by changing the definition of public debt.”

“Today, the national debt requires Government to pay interest at the rate of $340,000 a day” and a significant part of every tax dollar raised by the Government will go towards servicing its debt.”

“The PLP made a clear commitment to balancing Bermuda’s budget by 2019. The budget statement makes it clear that they have failed! They have pushed back this commitment to 2021.

“Given the PLP’s past record for failed revenue and expense projections, we cannot even trust that this delayed commitment will be met. This is unfortunate, given that Bermuda’s credit agencies will be paying close attention.”

Ms Atherden mentioned the America’s Cup multiple times, saying “the PLP Government continued to reap the America’s Cup dividend for the second half of the 2017/2018″ and they have “refused to acknowledge the phenomenal impact of the America’s Cup to the Bermudian economy.”

On Government’s plans on the digital currency arena, she said, “We are told that the Government is moving with urgency with respect to blockchain and digital currencies. Other countries are grappling with the proper regulation of these new technologies. Regulators the world over have taken a dim view of these developments.”

“The policies that result in concrete benefits for the people are welcome. Providing hope is to be applauded, but being fiscally responsible is demanded,” the Opposition Leader said.

“In the future we will not just simply hold the Government accountable on the numbers spelled out within their Budget but also in the commitment to their policies.

“The success of this will be measured by the outcomes that are provided to those Bermudians that feel disenfranchised or are on the sidelines of success. These measures should be reported quarterly to ensure that the goals are met.”

The full OBA Reply to 2018 Budget follows below [PDF here]:

click here Bermuda 2018 Budget

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Comments (2)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “On Government’s plans on the digital currency arena, she said, “We are told that the Government is moving with urgency with respect to blockchain and digital currencies. Other countries are grappling with the proper regulation of these new technologies. Regulators the world over have taken a dim view of these developments.””

    One only has to look to Hong Kong to find one cryptocurrency “exchange” that went bankrupt and one that nearly did. Only this month did seven cryptocurrency exchanges receive warning letters from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission.

    Until the market matures and the issues are better understood, seeking dealers in cryptocurrency is like seeking on-line gambling casinos to come to Bermuda

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