Column: Ministers Without Portfolio, Cabinet Office

November 8, 2018 | 16 Comments

[Opinion column written by Michael Dunkley]

When announcing the recent Cabinet changes the Premier lauded the fact that he had consolidated ministries from 11 to 10. He made no mention that with his second cabinet shuffle in 16 months the size of Cabinet has actually grown.

With the growth of Cabinet there are now two Ministers, one titled a “Minister without Portfolio” and another a “Minister for the Cabinet Office”, both make $150k per year and have little or no specific responsibility that could not be taken by another Minister.

The Premier has provided little justification for a Minister Without Portfolio and a Minister for the Cabinet Office to support a Premier who now does not have the finance portfolio.

The recently released ‘Government Organisational Chart’ follows below [PDF here]

Government Org Chart Bermuda Nov 2018

However, the current Premier, as Acting Opposition Leader, stated in May 2016 that “Bermudians want leadership that is accountable and transparent, follows the rules and puts the interests of Bermudians first.”

My how things have changed when the shoe is in the other foot! Both of these Ministers have been moved from important Ministries and one can assume it is not because they were doing a good job!

If Premier Burt wishes to practice what he preaches then a lot more accountability and transparency is owed to the Bermudians whom he alleges he puts first. Why were two Ministers moved from a substantive Ministry to costly window dressing?

Why did the Premier believe it appropriate to create these two Ministerial positions? What will they do to provide a return on the taxpayer expense at a time when many Bermudians are struggling to find employment at a livable wage?

Is it because Ministers take a lot of time off? Many concerned Bermudians have asked these and other questions. One asked if it was because the Premier wants to reward their loyalty at taxpayer expense.

Another asked if it could be because the workload is so strenuous and other Ministers can’t cope so they need help.

I wonder how the backbench feel. Many have supported the Premier while being paid a third of the salary paid a Minister and also serving on parliamentary committees without compensation. The Premier has in the past often used the two words transparency and accountability but in reality he has failed to practice what he has preached.

I can provide numerous examples like the taxpayer backed $1.2 million payout to a former Premier with little public explanation or answering relevant questions asked from many concerned people. Sadly the trend now appears standard practice.

Whatever reasons the Premier might have for these two Ministerial appointments, until he practices the transparency and accountability he often talked about in Opposition, these two Ministers appear to have received an early Christmas present paid for by beleaguered taxpayers.

- Michael Dunkley is the former Premier and the current MP for Smiths North

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Comments (16)

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  1. 2 Bermudas says:

    I’ll say it again – the only person better off under this Pee El Pee gov’t is Ewart Brown!!

    What is in de titty milk?!?!

    • Wake up Bie says:

      What’s more funny is that your own party wants to kick people like you and mike out UBP clown. Are you so mad with all prominent black families that departed over the years from the oba UBP leaving you now with a disgraced X Premier Craig Trump to control you, You have to be desperate to place him as your new leader. You really think Dunkely is making a difference blogging with his views LOLOLOLOL. He’s helping the obaUBP lose again. Wait till next election. Now let me go back to drinking my PLP titty milk yummy.

      • 2 Bermudas says:

        Wow, you wrote an entire paragraph with absolutely no substance. De titty milk got you writing gibberish!! Pee el Pee!! Pee el Pee!! Dream on brother, this Pee el Pee gov’t is Failure 2.0. BurtCoin is captain of de Titanic and Blockchain Caines is de first mate!! Ha ha ha!!

      • Kevin says:

        “Wake up” …please change your alcohol / titty milk of choice ..wow you are someone we could have got $100 at St. brendans 15 years ago you need a white jacket…..the plp only know one thing SPEND SPEND SPEND no idea how to pay for it but know how to take care of Friends and Family …their M-O hasn’t changed lets give it away ..run up the bill and hope to lose an election to have a group put it back on track and live on their plan for 3 years …let me tell you something …we are heading in a deep spiral and 25-11 will cost all of you dearly
        your throne speech will be like listening to Peter Pan

  2. JohnBoy says:

    Everybody is cool, no grumbling, no strikes or marches planned MP Dunkley. Had it been another Party now…

  3. Ok says:

    Oh shut up Michael- you are soooooo boring and irrelevant! Work on your 25 -11 math

    • aceboy says:

      So you don’t see the spin? Burt says he reduced cabinet and yet we are paying two ADDITIONAL salaries of $150,000 each. That is Jetgate every year in dollar terms. But you will cry about that and let your ace boys slide for the same amount every year these ministers stay in office? REALLY???

  4. watching says:

    Can anyone clarify if Michael Dunkley is writing as OBA Member, or as Michael Dunkley?
    he seems to have much more latitude to submit columns than other MPs.
    Maybe that’s why he isn’t a Shadow Minister of one specific thing, he is the Shadow Minister of Everything.
    He is trying to steal Cannonier’s shine…

  5. hmmm says:

    It seems like they missed the part where the economic development ministry was was dissolved and the premier took responsibility.

  6. Double S says:

    Wow the intellectual depth of the responses by the PLPers is amazing…

    No wonder your Party loves you so much.

    • Youth says:

      Just finished reading it appears 2 Bermuda’s is oba. He’s doing a swell job by turning off the black family voters. He must be 14 years old, because at 21 I wouldn’t even write so immature.

      • 2 Bermudas says:

        You must be Pee El Pee because you are off-topic too. Maybe we should raise de age to consume titty milk to 25!! Ha ha ha!!

  7. Not exactly says:

    Why are you still speaking? Lost two elections, not leader, not in Shadow Cabinet… Stop speaking out of turn and attempting to appear in charge. The people have told you loud and clear that they don’t want to hear from you. Didn’t you undermine Craig enough when you were lurking in the shadows waiting to be Premier last time

  8. J Austen says:

    Good, bad, or merely indifferent, the Milkman’s rhetoric is not helping his cause, unless his cause is simply himself. He is a proven, two time vote loser at the head of a ticket. There is only one way to change things: get back into power with a decent mandate – and that simply is not going to happen with him around. Dunkley needs to buzz off. If he really cared about his party, he would let the leadership lead.

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