Column: ‘Carve A Path Into Our New Reality’

April 24, 2020 | 12 Comments

[Opinion column written by MP Jason Hayward]

The unemployment benefit issued by the Government is timely and appropriate social protection. It is an adequate policy response for short term relief to the thousands who find themselves unemployed. The total social and economic impact of Covid-19 is unknown, however, when we emerge from this pandemic, Bermuda and the rest of the world will have to grapple with a new normal. A new normal that will require critical and decisive policy responses.

While the public health threat rips through our society and cripples our economy, social policy considerations are being discoursed to ensure there are social safety nets in place that provide protection to the most vulnerable in our society. The Government, with the help of the private and third sector, has the capability to protect the lies of the most vulnerable in our society.

This pandemic has exposed the fragility of our economy. The efforts to contain the spread of the virus has made it extremely difficult to contain economic losses. The employment spectrum has been reconstructed, as a result of workers slipping from private sector employment to unemployment.

At this point, public sector employment remains stable but uncertainty lingers as Government revenues abate and support spending has increased creating a great amount of fiscal stress. The short-term unemployment benefits will have to be replaced with the proper social investment that not only provides support, but empowers individuals.

The social policy responses will have to address how we assist those in our informal sector. Further consideration will have to be given to what labour policy considerations can be implemented to support employment growth and entrepreneurship.

Without suitable interventions, low-income families will suffer and endure further hardship. Our historic problem of unaffordable housing and healthcare is exacerbating the challenges we face; reform is evermore necessary. As an individual’s savings are depleted the high cost of living will squeeze families into poverty.

The Government will be required to develop a robust economic and social strategy that aims to carve a path into our new reality. As we are all in this together, we need the input of the community. I would invite the public to share your input on the Bermuda Citizens Forum so we can collectively shape the policies of the future. Rebuilding a resilient economy will be difficult but together we can navigate these unchartered waters.

- Jason Hayward

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Comments (12)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    A few months ago Jason Hayward stated retail was unimportant but it was a large contributor to Government revenues. Those revenues help to cover the vast cost of the Civil Service. many of whom are currently not working but collecting full pay and benefits. The first need to get Bermuda back is to reduce those costs Government significantly. There is no other way as revenues will be slow to rebuild. To borrow more just to pay the same benefits will create even more pain in the near, medium and long term. The private sector will have to readjust, so will the Government sector. The status quo has to change.

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    “At this point, public sector employment remains stable but uncertainty lingers as Government revenues abate and support spending has increased creating a great amount of fiscal stress. The short-term unemployment benefits will have to be replaced with the proper social investment that not only provides support, but empowers individuals.”

    The first sentence of that quote is accurate. The second sentence demonstrates a lack of economic understanding. It is correct to say that “as Government revenues abate and support spending has increased creating a great amount of fiscal stress”, but times of fiscal stress are not times to go on to go on a spending spree. They are times to “tighten the belt” and spend only on necessary expenditures.

    We will not be able to spend our way out of the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must carefully plan our spending for the rest of 2020.

  3. sandgrownan says:

    “This pandemic has exposed the fragility of our economy”

    This is how we know that the PLP are clueless. Anyone with half a functioning synapse already knew the economy was on life support long before COVID 19 reared it’s head.

    • wahoo says:

      “Economic fragility”…. what a joke coming from Mr. Union Thug. Those are his words not mine.

  4. bluenose says:

    “The employment spectrum has been reconstructed, as a result of workers slipping from private sector employment to unemployment.

    At this point, public sector employment remains stable ….” Must be nice working in the public sector.

  5. Equality says:

    The only chance we have to rejuvenate this economy is for people like him to drop the race card and leave it down forever, not just during this pandemic. This goes for quite a few in charge.

  6. wahoo says:

    What a flaky waste of words. PLP have never listened to opinions other than their own so what should make this any different. We need foreign currency and always have done whether it is IB or tourism. We need to encourage foreign wealth to come here and stop the anti foreign rhetoric that you and your supporters are so famous for. Also I know you hate the thought of it but trickle down economics is the only way this place can work. I can’t wait for your finmin to say money doesn’t grow on trees….you know he has to.

  7. Mtown says:

    Your are definitely right when it comes to reform. We need to reform the government to get rid of PLP.

  8. Minister of Statistics & Ideas says:

    Interesting, yet another set of data and ideas for a report that won’t be used until after the next general election.

    Good news MP HAYWARD can be made Minister of Statistics and Ideas.

    Fantastic development more ideas.

  9. Yawn says:

    Yawn

    What time shelter in place press conference comes on tonight

  10. Finn says:

    I’m sure gov’t employees are enjoying their indefinite paid holiday. Let’s hear our Premier’s plan for recovery, with tourism nonexistent for the foreseeable future. It isn’t just lockdowns. The world’s economy is nearing Great Depression unemployment levels. Even if it were safe to travel, Americans haven’t got a dime to spend. The virus will make a comeback in late fall, along with ordinary flu season. The public sector are pretending not to see, whilst they cash their paychecks. The private sector are going out of business. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-13/coronavirus-s-effect-on-tourism-will-carry-into-2021-experts-say

  11. Vortex says:

    There is absolutely nothing here.

    Vacuous, cliched, empty words. Jason, so what will you actually do?

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