OBA: ‘What Has PLP Done To Grow Economy?’

February 13, 2019 | 34 Comments

“It would appear from the report that the only foreign investment of note are the OBA stimuli of the airport and hotels,” Shadow Finance Minister Nick Kempe said, with Senator Kempe asking “what tangible things has the PLP done to grow the economy?”

The Shadow Finance Minister’s comments follow after Minister for the Cabinet Office Walton Brown spoke earlier today about the 2018 3rd Quarter GDP statistics, saying he was pleased to “report some good economic news.”

Minister

Speaking this afternoon, Minister Brown said, “There has been a narrative being pushed by the Opposition that Bermuda is in a recession. The facts simply don’t bear that out.

“Despite the narrative that the Opposition wants to peddle, these numbers expose their narrative for what it is. False. Over the last several months, we have seen signs of economic progress demonstrating that our efficient fiscal management is having a beneficial effect.

“Bermuda’s 2018 second quarterly Gross Domestic Product [GDP] increased 0.8 %., a strengthening in the economy that is especially noteworthy when compared with the second quarter of 2017 when Bermuda hosted the America’s Cup.

“During the third quarter of 2018, quarterly Gross Domestic Product [GDP] increased by 1.6%, estimated at $1.1 billion. Government consumption decreased 3.7 % during the third quarter.

“This Government has made a determined effort to stimulate our economy by attracting foreign investment through targeted investment strategies and diversification of business development initiatives. We believe our strategy will translate into higher employment numbers, providing moderate economic growth in most sectors.

“Considering all of the above factors, we are of the view that Bermuda’s economic outlook is continuing to improve.”

Video of Minister Brown’s press conference today

Senator Kempe’s Comments

In response, Senator Kempe said, “Despite the Minister’s enthusiasm, his election campaign-style press conference raises more questions than answers.

“Why is he so quick to denigrate the OBA’s successful stimulus projects? Even the Minister of Finance’s Pre-Budget Report recognized that Bermuda’s economy rebounded in 2017, buoyed by the hosting of the America’s Cup.

“The main driver of the GDP growth that the Minister is now claiming as a PLP success is the $59.9m increase in gross capital formation reflecting major OBA construction projects such as hotel development and the airport project. Where would the economy be if not for the legacy of OBA stimuli?

“Tourism employment numbers are up thanks to the OBA’s vision to turnaround way the industry was handled with the creation of the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

“Hospitality employment is up, whilst overall unemployment remains unchanged meaning that unemployment has fallen elsewhere in the economy.

“Despite all the bluster and rhetoric, household final consumption decreased in Q3 2018 when compared to last year which is not surprising as consumer confidence is one the main drivers of new car sales, a major component of this figure.

“The truth is that Bermudians are either not able or not willing to spend as much now as they could this time last year. Retail sales figures have not been released since November 2018 and have consistently fallen. Why haven’t the figures been released?

Audio of Shadow Finance Minister Nick Kempe:

“It is curious that the Minister highlighted a decrease in Government spending in Q3 compared to the same quarter last year as that has little bearing on the total amount spent by Government over the entire fiscal year.

“The fact of the matter is that the Minister of Finance’s Pre-Budget Report highlights the intention to spend the same amount next year as this year despite a declining population that requires less Government services.

“Government is considering an additional $50m of tax burden on Bermuda at the same time as it is not willing to share the sacrifice. Why is the cost of Cabinet getting bigger at a time when Bermudian’s wallets are getting smaller?

“Creation of FinTech jobs were claimed, yet the Minister is unable to provide any figures to back that claim up. Is this claim purely anecdotal or is Government unable to compile basic payroll tax returns for 61 companies?

“The Minister claimed his Government has stimulated the economy by attracting ‘foreign investment through targeted investment strategies’.

“It would be helpful if he explained to Bermuda what foreign investment has been attracted and what exactly these targeted strategies are. It would appear from the report that the only foreign investment of note are the OBA stimuli of the airport and hotels. What tangible things has the PLP done to grow the economy?”

The Quarterly GDP report follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (34)

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  1. Wahoo says:

    Keep banging.

  2. Nick , This is what you do when you’re the Government .The PLP is doing good . The train is still on the tracks . The OBA is behaving as a good Opposition . I wonder why ? They used to be the Government but lost touch with the people . Let’s encourage the PLP . Let’s thank them for rolling back the tax on residential rental properties .Let’s highlight that the economy runs best when Government runs on 17-18% of GDP , and any amount above this puts down ward pressure on the economy that causes people to stop spending .Again, Where is the OBA’s vision , ideas , goals , and plan to help the people of Bermuda . Let’s pray for Craig .

    • deonion says:

      1. The PLP is doing good. please explain how
      2. Let’s encourage the PLP. to do what, introduce more taxes?
      3. Let’s thank them for rolling back the tax on residential rental properties. leaving a $26m black hole that needs filling, somehow
      4. .Again, Where is the OBA’s vision , ideas , goals , and plan to help the people of Bermuda. Where is the PLP’s?

    • PATRICK MCHUGH says:

      The tax was not in place so how can you roll it back?

    • JohnnyB says:

      Why would we thank them? They were the ones that put it into play in the first place! If you cant see how dopey that is to say we owe them thanks then you need a check up.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      The train is still on the tracks ? LOL What planet are you living on ?
      Confidence in all things Bermuda have plummeted since the last election.
      There’s NO arguing it .

    • JohnnyB says:

      OBA Vision: BTA, Airport, St Georges Hotel, Americas Cup…..

    • Anbu says:

      They never lost touch with the people rodney. The people were TOLD not to listen. That is truth and u know it. Only reason they rolled back anything is because they are cowards. They knew what would happem to them if they went ahead with it. Thats the only reason they retracted it cause trust me. It was going to happen mate. And why do plp supporters keep asking what the oba would do? They were doing it and you kicked them out. Plp always looking elswhere for ideas instead of coming up with them their dam selves. I wonder why that is? Could it be that maybe, just maybe, they dont have a clue what they r doing? You think? Proof is in the pudding mate. Its time for this government to either $**t or get off the dam pot. Theyve had long enough.

    • newperspective says:

      The OBA is playing the same beat of the drum, just like the PLP does when they where in opposition. Their beats are the some in “b major”… with boogieman lyrics,to keep their supporters in their camp!

      You would think we should be pulling in the same direction to help the government-of-the-day to succeed in reducing the debt. Our focus should be on the debt to reduce it so the debt servicing cost can be reduced and have these resources can go to other much needed financial assistance programmes, like further education and the elderly.

    • newperspective says:

      Craig’s going to need more than prayers!! And 17-18% of GDP should have been in place back in the mid 90′s. Now it should be 20% as the bench mark. Go back and do the math….you would see a different result as for as the debt is concern.

      When our goal is to help other solve their tax burden elsewhere in the world, the outcome over a period of time, is obvious. Only a very small segment of our economy benefits from a very low tax jurisdiction, especially when keeping government revenue low. Since 1994 to 2016,government revenue averaged 16% over 22 years.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        If our tax rate was 70% of GDP government would still simply blow it all on F&F plans or social programs and handouts trying to buy votes. Government needs to seriously reign in its spending and stop worrying about the socialist wishes of countries overseas who won’t benefit one whit no matter what our tax rate is.

  3. Me says:

    I believe their main idea
    Was a chicken farm whats is the hold on that?

  4. Rotten Onion says:

    PLP are good at riding coat tails.

  5. Kevin says:

    Yes the message must be repeated and repeated ..somehow we need to make it clear that this government cannot help us …they are clueless and 2 years in its so very clear… the first 14 years wasn’t enough for lots of folks..they obviously must be very wealthy Bermudians ,,,,they voted them back in ….and look at what we have no real plan and no ideas for the near future …from education to public services and they want us to pay more ….

    plp cant get us out this financial mess…you may not want to admit it today ..but you will soon …66 fintech companies how many Bermudian jobs theres a reason they are silent
    have to make statement on the Qtr million paid out to alleged victims …how can you pay money to people who ignored police instructions and pushed towards them sorry they need to be prosecuted not rewarded

  6. What is it that Bermuda is not getting , ” No good deed goes unpunished .” Direct quote as to why we loss the election .There was only one man in Bermuda who could tell Michael Dunkley three days before the election 2017 that the report ‘OBA 11% ahead of PLP ‘ was wrong .To which he replied ,” I trust Global Research .” It would appear someone got it all wrong .The OBA are out of touch with the people of Bermuda . The PLP are likely to be in power for years , so it would do the OBA well to help them improve the economy of Bermuda without all the LIP.

    • Goose says:

      25-11

      It’s not up to the OBA to govern. If the public wanted the OBA to improve the economy they would have won the election. With 11 seats the OBA is powerless to enact any legislative change. All they can do is question the moves the Government makes in the hope that the scrutiny helps ensure the best outcome for Bermuda. It’s how the Westminster system works.

      The voting public decided that they wanted the PLP’s plans to be enacted. It’s time for the PLP to start moving their ideas forward, as per the public’s mandate. Instead they’ve done such an awful job that you’re essentially asking the opposition to fix the economy two years after the election.

    • Anbu says:

      Again rodney. The “people” are only out of touch with the oba because the plp tell them they are. Get a clue man. To me what bermy needs right now is complete apathy to all things government. Then maybe these people would actually have to work. To vote for someone on nothing other than “because thats my team” is just stupid. We deserve everything we are getting now. It is reality. The oba would be stupid to do the plps work for them. But thats what the plp want because the usual suspects are in charge of it. The plp are smart in one aspect tho. Bermudians just love free $**t and the plp love giving away free stuff. The average plp voter just doesnt get that it is in fact them that paid for the free stuff in the first place. It would be funny if it wasn t so sad.

      • newperspective says:

        Amazing, those very voters you are referring to also voted for the UBP/OBA when they marginally won in 2012.

        • Double S says:

          Biggest myth out there regarding the 2012 election. PLP voters did not switch their votes they just abstained. The 2017 election vote numbers confirm that fact.

          Anyways, enjoy your 25-11 majority. So far it has resulted in negative retail sales, plummeting business confidence, higher taxes (with more to come), a return to qualified audits, failing Fintech strategy, pay-outs to friends and family whilst increasing healthcare premiums etc. Standing strong for sure!

          • newperspective says:

            Not from what I was told on the doorstep. Including those who are swing voters. For the record, I’m not a supporter of party politics.

            I take it, you’re an OBA supporter? You had a bird in hand and you blew it away! Beating the same drum isn’t going to work. Change the beat and pray harder, you might make it back, marginally.

            • Double S says:

              Nope. The numbers prove that a significant swing vote does not exist in Bermuda.

              And get ready for higher taxes and lower economic activity! 25-11 all the way!

              • newperspective says:

                Something is wrong with your numbers.Just before the election, the OBA numbers showed they were ahead by 11 seats. And yet, the PLP ended up with 11 seats more than the OBA! An awful huge swing to me!!

                Also, I don’t mind paying more taxes. If it will reduce the debt. I’m all for it! The PLP should have stood firm on the tax on rental income.

    • newperspective says:

      I recall, back in the mid 80′s, when a UBP member of Parliament lost his seat in Hamilton East, him saying ” there were more liars than I thought possible. I’ve see it and heard it all before!

    • Kevin says:

      Rodney you better hope they are gone in 2 years ,,,you will regret the day you wrote that pathetic piece…but wait your one of the sheep that will believe anything…you voted in a group who collectively can’t get out of a wet paper bag ….they have the ability to make our country great again as my shoes in my closet…well ok my shoes may have an edge…

      Wake up Rodney …North rock may be the only piece of land left to govern in a few years if you put them back in

      • Kevin, It appears that you want a little attention .Note, Bob Richards should had been Premier before Dunkley. All things being equal , had Craig had the golf balls he would still been Premier today . He just could not be his own man . Others had to instruct him as to what to do . The OBA had the government but would not with their baby finger do anything for the man in the street .They knew what Bermuda needed , and got it all Wrong . There is only one thing about being in the room with the smartest people in Bermuda, ” NO ONE LISTENS .” The OBA wanted Path Ways to Status, without listening to the majority of the people . They lost the government because they considered money was the answer to identifying with the people and not touching and rubbing shoulders with them . They where just out of touch . Today , some folks are fighting to get a white party back in power , compared to Bermuda having TWO strong black parties that would allow people to support the party with the best platform . Kevin , You have not been paying attention . I wonder why?

  7. Bill says:

    ME

    You are right!

    Give us an update on the chicken farm.
    I suppose that they have someone from overseas drafting a proposal to give to the group who they want to work on the farm.

  8. Stevie says:

    Brown had no answers. Clueless…thoughtless. Just like all plp/biu. Tweed so silent. Don’t forget who really is Premier. Burt you run away when then tough gets going. Grow up

  9. Oh,I see now says:

    You can bring in leading world economist and they still couldn’t float this sinking ship.Does it really matter who’s in power ,they will face the same issues with the same limited resources.You both remind me of the kid on the Simpsons show when he points his finger and shouts,”a-ha” only to notice he’s looking at his own reflection in a mirror……..ffs

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