Column: Govt Revenue Up & Spending Down

August 19, 2018

[Opinion column written by Junior Minister of Finance Wayne Furbert]

After completing one of the longest Parliamentary sessions in history, it was very rewarding to hear the good economic news from the Premier on Friday.

  • Government Revenues are up.
  • Government spending is down.
  • The deficit is down by 24%.
  • Visitor air arrivals are up.
  • Employment in the economy is up.

When we entered office, we received a mandate for change and cast aside the old way of doing business that saw Bermudians relegated to economic refugees or mere observers on the sidelines of the economic success of our country.

Wayne Furbert Bermuda TC August 17 2018

We knew that too many government departments were understaffed, too many civil servants were underpaid and that the services being provided to the public were suffering as a result.

We knew that too many Bermudian students had found themselves locked out of higher education due to ruthless cuts to scholarships.

We knew that too many of our seniors were falling further and further behind as the cost of living went up, but their pensions hadn’t kept up.

This shift in priorities, this readjustment of priorities was criticized and disparaged, but we knew we could not be distracted by the naysayers from the job you elected us to do and the numbers speak for themselves and that our approach of targeted investment in growth, while maintaining fiscal discipline is working.

Despite giving public sector workers a long overdue pay increase, and lifting the hiring freeze which saw many government departments being dangerously short of staff, spending is down this year; and expenditures are presently tracking slightly below budget estimates.

This First Quarter performance shows that our approach; doing more for seniors, more for our youth and more to reduce the burden on hardworking Bermudian families works!

We kept our pledge to invest more in tourism and Bermuda is reaping the results of that investment. From April – June 2018, with figures compared to the America’s Cup in 2017, visitor air arrivals are up by 5.4% and hotel occupancy was up by 4.8%.

The PLP promised to put Bermudians first, and to make investments that stimulate entrepreneurship and create economic growth. By analyzing contributions to Social Insurance it has been determined that there are 322 more people working this year than in 2017 and of that number 83% were Bermudian.

Government revenues are up, Government spending is down, our deficit is down by 24%, air arrivals are up, and there are 322 more jobs in the Bermuda economy than last year. This is truly great news but we know that much work remains to be done.

There are still too many Bermudians struggling to make ends meet.

There are still too many Bermudians struggling to find affordable housing.

There are still too many Bermudians who have the desire to work but lack the opportunity.

Healthcare costs remain too high.

Our tax system remains unfair.

These are the challenges that we, as your government will take on and we know that with your support, we will overcome.

We recognize that we have and will make mistakes. We recognize that we don’t have all the answers and that the best ideas and solutions can often be found within the minds of the average Bermudian.

Despite this, we know that our heart is with the Bermudian family who need to see their pay go further and who want a better future for their children; it is with our seniors seeking dignity and respect after their years of work and sacrifice and it is with the next generation of Bermudians who just want a Bermuda where they will be included, where hard work is rewarded and where they can meet their responsibilities and set aside for the future.

The work has just begun and we look forward to the new, transformed Bermuda that we will build together.

- Wayne Furbert


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Comments (15)

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  1. wondering says:

    Such a flip flop

  2. Justin says:

    This paper would fail if this was to be graded because he forgot to credit the source – Bob Richards and the OBA.

  3. Sister Nancy says:

    Who is he fooling cause the intelligent people know he is spewing garbage. Wayne go back to sleep.

  4. Ringmaster says:

    Amazing what the PLP have achieved since taking over power in July 2017. With this improvement, within 4 years Bermuda should see the debt reduced to less than a billion dollars, tourism close to a million visitors each year and the pension funds fully funded.
    Unfortunately this improvement had nothing to do with the PLP so the next updates will see business as usual. It has Started already by increasing the civil service and paying them more.

  5. Stormy daniels says:

    YAWN!! More hot air.

  6. Ringmaster says:

    Maybe Wayne can comment on the retail sales dropping in July 2018 for the third month in a row. Economic expansion under the PLP?

  7. PANGAEA says:

    A survey on income and expences cannot be done effectivey over a short period of time with our seasonal life style.

  8. aceboy says:

    HE LIVES! I have been wondering when old flip flop would re surface.

    How much are we paying this guy?

  9. One Who Escaped says:

    If you say something enough times over and over, it should come true!

  10. Rocky5 says:

    Spending is down because have PLP drastically cut Capital spending. Revenue is up thanks to OBA. All of a sudden we are using Social Insurance payment numbers for Employment Stats? Is it possible that there are no more jobs than before, just more people now paying their Social Ins?

  11. Sorry Sir says:

    Didn’t the OBA (Bob Richards) say he’d have the books balanced by 2019 with the PLP following up with that they’d have the books balanced by 2020?

    24% down on the deficit is not nearly close enough to a 2020 promise of having the books balanced. Y’all should be at 35% down.

    Now is not the time to celebrate. Now is the time to remain focused and do better next year.

    How much money are we throwing away just servicing the debt? hundreds of thousands of dollars a day is being spent on it. Imagine what we could do with that money?

    10 years. In 10 years the PLP ruined this country by amassing so much debt that we have had no choice but to add more debt to try to stimulate the economy with bandaid solutions through capital projects.

  12. Stevie says:

    Bermuda going down the toilet again with a PLP government. BIU & Twit still quiet. Be truthfull PLP. That you can never deliver.

  13. puzzled says:

    I looked at the 5 items above and I pucked.
    Bawahaaa= taxes
    Government spending?
    No buses, less fuel.

    You do the rest…..

  14. Sandgrownan says:

    He really is clueless isn’t he! What a muppet!

  15. He's a Muppet says:

    This guy I don’t even know how he’s in politics, hes nice… but really lack intelligence to be a minister tho… curious on how these people get into power sometimes… we need people who can do the job in power not ones who fake it… it’s time to elect people who can do the job vs people who should be there in the first place… we need new political parties with competent people in and running them… let’s stop having idiots ruin it for the rest of us.