Gordon-Pamplin On Government Mortgage Plan

March 21, 2019

Patricia Gordon Pamplin Bermuda March 2019“Government’s mortgage plans will increase debt levels and risk driving a wedge between the public and private sectors,” Pat Gordon-Pamplin, the OBA Finance spokesperson in the House said today.

“Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson said in his Budget that the Government would ‘in conjunction with private sector banks, pilot a mortgage guarantee programme in return for a reduction in interest rates charged to Bermudians for their mortgages’,” she said.

“He also said the Government ‘will create a government-backed mortgage lender to relieve pressure on public sector employees by providing them with reduced mortgage rates.’

“Helping Bermudians buy a piece of the rock is not a bad aim and could help a sector where prices are steadily falling leaving people in negative equity, however this plan again raises so many unanswered questions which need addressing before it can be implemented.

“Like other loans, mortgages are based on a borrower’s ability to repay, if they cannot then the mortgages get into trouble.

“This plan could easily be an invitation to banks to lay off their impaired mortgages onto the taxpayer. Will Government put systems into place to stop that happening? What happens the if the homeowner defaults on the debt?

“In addition, how does Government intend to administer this plan? Will it involve taking more people onto the Government payroll? Or will they actually manage to make do with existing resources?

“One of the most troubling proposals contained in the Minister’s budget statement is that ‘Government will create a government backed mortgage lender’, to provide mortgages to civil servants.

“What happens if a person leaves the civil service and why does this government seem fit to use the taxes paid by everyone to benefit only the civil service?

“Government’s tactics risk driving a big wedge between the civil service and Bermudians employed in the private sector who are already suffering from more taxation.

“And when the Minister says that there will be a government backed mortgage lender, the question is: with what? Government is a net debtor to the tune of almost $2.5bn. Is it the Minister’s intention to use more borrowed money to fund this idea?

“This appears to be more of an Opposition-style vote winner than a seriously attainable policy.”

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Comments (27)

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  1. Politricks says:

    Does seem unfair that the public sector would benefit from such an arrangement whilst the private sector (who funds the public sector) doesn’t. There are for more private sector workers who are struggling (or unemployed.

    • Black Soil says:

      THE PUBLIC SECTOR IS PAID ENOUGH!!!!!!! And they get a health plan second to none. AND they get a pension plan second to none!!!! This is an abuse of govt power. And what is an abuse of power?

      • SayItAintSo says:

        Is there a tax on this additional employee benefit?

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    It used to be that people took a civil service job at lower wages for 2 main reasons. First, guaranteed employment without risk of layoff. Second, the final salary pension (most private employers did not have private pensions until 2000 and I am not aware of any that would incur the cost of a final salary pension).

    Now it seems that civil servants are to have better pay and benefits that most private employees.

    Put another way, it now seems that civil servants are to have BETTER pay and benefits than those of us who pay their wages and provide those benefits!

    • sandgrownan says:

      We could simply stop paying our taxes. If we all did it, then the Muppets would need to reconsider.

      • Wow says:

        P Gordon it’s people like this in the UBPoba that are the very reason swing voters don’t support you anymore. We all understand which people swing.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Can’t stand the difficult questions or criticisms eh?

          Attack the messenger, crow about 22-16….but avoid the question.

          17-21 years of failure, mismanagement and incompetence.

          • Wow says:

            You call the PLP muppets but imagine if someone insulted you and called you a redneck. Sounds racist right? You can get your point off without calling people names. What are you a racist? Go back and re read all your blogs. You appear to have something against people of color. This does nothing to help the oba. Why you think it was a 25 to 11 seat win. Clean up your blog and you might get some of us to swing back over. It’s no secret which group swings.

            • Double S says:

              Now muppets is racist? hahahahahaha.

              Why don’t you just state that any and all criticism of your infallible PLP (you don’t swing vote) is racist and be done with it?

              10 months of retail sales decline and counting….hhahaha

    • Portia says:

      Government workers do NOT have better pay and benefits than private sector workers. I have worked in both sectors and can say that if you get in a good private company you will earn far more than a comparable civil service position. And for benefits? GEHI sucks compared to have a private plan with an insurer like Argus or Colonial.

      • truthertz says:

        “if you get in a good private company”

        That’s the problem. With the private sector shrinking consistently for around a decade now the IF part of your statement is the operative word. And the other problem is that whilst the private sector (ie tax base) has shrunk the size of the civil service has not and thus the need for higher taxes on a smaller tax base. For the record I do not blame the civil servants one bit, but rather the self serving politicians who for political reasons beefed up the public sector beyond sustainable levels.

        And I have seen the benefits offered (family member) and they superior to most in the private sector. Days off, sick days, automatic progression etc. Also, whilst I agree with you in GEHI the other side of that is the massive deductions (which increase every year) that accompany the private plans.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        GEHI continues after retirement, unabated, at the same premium others pay (currently just over $600 per month).

        Retirees on privately funded health plans are paying twice what retired civil servants are paying for health insurance.

        That is another benefit of working for Government. Thank you for reminding me.

      • question says:

        Which private workers have 35 days vacation, 70 days sick leave, guaranteed job no matter how incompetent, index-linked pension paid for by other people, 9-5 working hours, and now cheap mortgages subsidized by other people?

      • road rash says:

        in the row over Pastor bean’s salary, it was revealed that at $125,000 a year, he was on the same as middle managers within the civil service. please tell me how many middle managers in the private sector get $125,000 a year? I don’t.

      • 2 Bermudas says:

        Is blogging why you are being paid as a consultant for the govt !?!? Nice to have the best of both worlds, huh?!?!? Hahahaha!!

      • Come Correct says:

        Not once in all my years of working in the private sector did I ever make close to 60 and 70k a year starting, with no GED. I have my GED. One of those “good private companies” you speak of might let me collect their trash after working hours without a college education.

  3. William Graham says:

    If this was to work then the employees wages would have to be garnished so that they could not default on the payment

    • Adklee says:

      Exactly! This is what the govt is really “guaranteeing”, that there is no chance of default because the debtor will always have a job with us. But Ms. Gordon-Pamplin brings up an excellent point: What if the employee wants to leave the CS?

      But the fact that the govt is banking (no pun intended) on its employees always being on their payroll is frightening as it further exempliflies their unwillingness to reduce the size of the CS. This govt is exacerbating that issue, the “wedge” is growing and becoming more fixed!!

  4. question says:

    Add this to the 35 days vacation and 70 days sick pay every year.

  5. Pat Pamplin, surfacing yet again. The money from the Rio Olympics, put it back.
    How ironic!!
    Disturbing too!!
    The BORN BERMUDA public::: remain vigilant concerning any oba supposedly positive antics!!
    THAT is an UNTRUTH!!

    • LaV says:

      “Disturbing too!!”

      The only disturbed person here is you.

      Seek help.

    • Question says:

      Get your mortgage from a bank like the rest of us have to. My taxpayer money shoukd not be used to BUY YOUR HOUSE, sponger.

    • Joe Bloggs says:


    • PPamplin says:


      I will continue to ‘surface’ as I have no difficulty in questioning policy of the government where the public may not be well served. That is the reason I was elected and I will not shirk that responsibility. My loyalty is to Bermuda and I have no obligation to swallow the same pablum that you choose to in support of your party. You have as much right to your gullibility as I have to commitment to service.

      While I do not wish to confuse you with facts, you might be interested to know that I personally paid for nearly every government trip that I took as Minister – Health – (meeting in Miami with prospective clinic operators); Public Works (Meeting in Miami with Royal Caribbean regarding channel widening); Sport (Carifta Games in Martinique and PanAm Games in Toronto)

      PAHO paid for my attendance at a Health conference in Aruba and Bda Govt paid for a Health Tourism conference in Nevada.

      In respect of Rio, I paid out of my pocket, non-refundable air ticket and accommodations, totaling just over $6K,which I was happy to do, predicated on my ability to support our athletes using Ministerial credentials. The reimbursement from the government came after the credentials were cancelled under questionable circumstances, thereby costing me an additional $5K. The reimbursement was authorized, so while you may not like it, there will be no repayment.

  6. Adklee says:

    Exactly! This is what the govt is really “guaranteeing”, that there is no chance of default because the debtor will always have a job with us. But Ms. Gordon-Pamplin brings up an excellent point: What if the employee wants to leave the CS?

    But the fact that the govt is banking (no pun intended) on its employees always being on their payroll is frightening as it further exempliflies their unwillingness to reduce the size of the CS. This govt is exacerbating that issue, the “wedge” is growing and becoming more fixed!!