Burt: “Where Will The New Jobs Come From?”

October 8, 2014

D.Burt-Hoz-8740[Opinion column written by Shadow Finance Minister David Burt]

Recently Minister of Finance, Bob Richards felt the need to criticise my statements on the economy. The fact that the Minister would attack me is not surprising, but the lack of depth of the OBA’s ideas for diversification and growth of our economy is frightening. In this space today I will dissect some of the Minister’s comments in an effort to ensure your readers understand the true position of the Progressive Labour Party.

“What was particularly concerning about the Opposition’s statement was the absence of any commitment or belief in tourism and international business, as though they were yesterday’s story with nothing to offer Bermuda today or in the future.” – Minister Richards

On this point, Minister Richards is wrong. The PLP recognizes the contribution of international business; after all international business activity in Bermuda tripled during the 14 years the PLP was in government – time that the Minister calls “years of mismanagement”.

The PLP was a strong supporter of tourism and it was under the PLP that saw the first new hotel built in Bermuda for 35 years! The PLP continues to support international business and tourism, but the question shouldn’t be the level of support, the question should be, “Where will the new jobs come from?”

It was the OBA that promised 2,000 new jobs during their 2012 election campaign. In 2013, Bermuda lost over 1,000 more jobs and 2014 has seen the closure of major local businesses in Bermuda. Is Minister Richards putting all of his eggs in the international business and Tourism basket? Does he believe that those industries alone will create 3,000 new sustainable jobs in the near term?

Local business models are changing; the trends of globalization and outsourcing will not be reversed. When you call CellOne, HSBC, or BTC for customer service you may be redirected to someone who is not in Bermuda. These companies did what many local and international companies in Bermuda have done, outsourced jobs.

Was this outsourcing of jobs from Bermuda because of term limits? No! Was this exporting of Bermudian jobs due to “years of mismanagement?” No! It was because the job function could be done at a lower cost outside of Bermuda, and the directors made the decision to export the jobs to increase their profits. Just as the model for local business has changed, so has it in the insurance sector.

“The Opposition described the reinsurance sector as a “mature industry” that cannot provide the growth Bermuda needs, but this indicates a misunderstanding of the industry. Reinsurance is cyclical in nature. Today there is a surplus of capital, meaning the industry is not growing, but the wheel will turn” – Minister Richards

We can debate whether the reinsurance sector in Bermuda is a ‘mature industry’, but I think that Minister Richards and I can agree that, notwithstanding its cyclical nature, the Bermuda insurance model has changed. If there is a need for another influx of capital it will not bring an influx of large new Class 4 physical presence reinsurers to setup here as happened in 2001 and 2005.

Why not? Because the Bermuda insurance model has changed. Alternative capital and the natural efficiencies of a mature market combined with the cost cutting drivers that are demanded by shareholders mean that a large influx of capital will not automatically translate into a large number of new jobs in Bermuda. Again the question shouldn’t be and understanding of the cyclical nature of the industry, it should be, “Where will the new Jobs come from?”

Bermuda and Bermudians need jobs, and economic diversification can help create those new jobs. What we in Bermuda have to do is be bold, we have to think outside the box, we have to do things differently, and as Brian Duperreault said in a recent speech, “The status quo isn’t going to work. The way things used to be done won’t support Bermuda’s recovery. As a country, we have to be creative, innovative, and nimble.”

Generations of Bermudians have looked for that all-important third leg to the economy for the stability it could provide. But as a plan to bring economic relief to Bermudians suffering today, the Opposition’s ‘plan’ falls far short of what is needed.

In his writing, Minister Richards reduced the PLP’s economic plan to online gaming. The PLP position on online gaming is not our ‘plan’, it is just one of many items proposed by the PLP that form part of a plan for needed diversification. However instead of discussing the merits, Minister Richards, as many other pundits have done, simply derided the idea of online gaming in Bermuda. Why?

Other overseas territories [Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man] are creating good jobs and collecting government revenue from this industry; why shouldn’t Bermuda do the same? Online gaming is a $35 billion industry that is growing worldwide. Gibraltar alone collected $80 million in tax revenue and this industry supported 2,600 jobs in their economy.

This is an industry in which Bermuda can compete and we are well positioned to do so because we have the office space, lawyers, accountants, IT companies, and existing excellent telecommunications infrastructure. If we were able to build an industry only ¼ of the size of Gibraltar, we would have $20 Million of additional government revenue and 650 new jobs. Is online gaming a panacea? No; but can it help? We think it can.

Does Minister Richards have any ideas for new industries that can create 650 new jobs in Bermuda? If he does, he should share them with the Bermudian people at his SAGE town hall meeting tonight. Minister Richards is famous for saying we cannot cut our way out of this recession, so Bermudians need to ask, “Where will the new jobs come from?”

It is imperative that the OBA get serious about developing sectors that can supplement international business and tourism. It is the PLP’s view that there is not enough effort being put into attracting new industries into Bermuda that can create new jobs to make up for those that have been outsourced and lost forever.

To keep its promise to the electorate, the OBA needs to create 3,000 more jobs. All of us in the PLP want to see more jobs, and more Bermudians working, but we will not get our Bermudians back to work in a long term and sustainable fashion without Minister Richards and the OBA putting more serious effort into economic diversification.

- David Burt

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Comments (81)

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  1. aceboy says:

    The OBA are desperately trying to save this country from the peril your party put us in.

    Jobs will come IF you stop continue to derail this process.

    • Kunta says:

      You desperately trying to SELL this country !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Y-Gurl says:

        You can’t sell what doesn’t belong to you…

      • hmmm says:

        So kunta, I ‘m interested, how do you make money come to Bermuda, without selling it in some way.

  2. I and numerous others have but one question to ask of you Shadow Finance Minister David Burt. Why are we broken and are now up to our “ying-yang” in debt if it had not been through bad financial management by the former Government of these Islands e.g. the Progressives Labour Party?

  3. hmmm says:

    If online gaming was so wonderful, why didn’t the PLP do it.

    There is the rub. 3 terms in office, full understanding of and existence of on-line gaming in other jurisdiction, yet they did nothing to facilitate business coming here. why????

    • Ronald says:

      They had 3 terms in office to do LOTS of things that they are now badgering the OBA about. Everytime they open their mouths, they should stop and remember those 3 terms and ask THEMSELVES those questions. Until you answer them yourselves, please keep quiet and let the OBA do the best with the mess they were left with. Thank you. And OBA, please get on about the job we hired you for. Good luck and thank you.

  4. Lois Frederick says:

    The bulk from hotel construction and a new airport and causeway, after the hotels are built working in the hotels and revived tourism industry. New work permit policy will bring new business to the IB arena creating new jobs and support a myriad of jobs in supporting industries. The potential hosting of the America’s Cup! These carefully thought out stimulus plans along with the world moving into recovery by 2017, things will indeed look brighter for a lot of Bermudians. Hang in there.

    • Coffee says:

      Now why would the world be moving in recovery ? Are you suggesting that the world economy is sick ? Have you broke party line by implying that the worldwide recession may have played a huge role in the state of our local economy ?
      The UNITED STATES jobless rate has dropped tremendously , why hasn’t the OBA followed suit ? Why are we STILL in the job shedding mode ? It’s been almost two years and BOB RICHARDS ONLY RECOURSE IS TO CUT OUR WAY OUT OF A DEFECIT !
      Meanwhile a more astute US government is actually growing it’s way out !

  5. jt says:

    I would like Mr. Burt to state how many jobs he believes online gaming would produce. I am not versed in the business, but would think that, by its very nature, few would be employed.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      From the article.

      “If we were able to build an industry only ¼ of the size of Gibraltar, we would have $20 Million of additional government revenue and 650 new jobs.”

      • Happy says:

        Only problem with that number is he just divided the number of jobs related to online gaming in Gibraltar by 4. He fails to take into account the fact the a lawyer will represent several companies, merchant services managers in banks will manage multiple companies and IT firms will host multiple websites. The number he gave has no factual basis at all.

        • Sickofantz says:

          Exactly. I had to laugh when I read David Burts piece and heard him on the radio talking about how Bermudian unemployment could be assisted by Online Gaming becuase it would provide jobs for accountants and lawyers! As I walk around Bermuda I haven’t noticed many unemployed accountants and lawyers but I have seen alot of ads offering positions for accountants lawayers and IT experts.

          • LiarLiar says:

            If you read the National Training Plan there is a serious lack of Bermudian accountants and as such there is virtually no unemployment for local trained accountants and a whole lot of expat accountants.

            So in other words online gaming will require a plethora of new work permits to be granted to foreign accountants for this new industry to make up for the lack of locally trained CAs/CPAs/CMAs et al. Hope the PLP has thought this through given their apparent disdain for issuing work permits.

            Sounds good to me as we need more and more people on this island to plug the financial holes.

            So if the PLP is right about their $20mn estimation (which doesn’t appear to be based on extensive research) that means we only have $330mn more to go before we close the deficit!

        • Edmund Spenser says:

          Actually, if you look at the Gibralter employment statistics report, he took all gaming employment including at least 6 employment intensive casinos and reported that as on-line gaming employment. Everyone was wondering why an on-line operation would need so many people. We’ll it doesn’t, is including casino employment in his total.

      • jt says:

        Thanks. But I’m still wondering how an industry that relies so heavily on technology requires that level of staffing. Certainly other industries that are less reliant on technology would not require anywhere near the number of employees to generate/manage $20 million. It just doesn’t seem to add up. Still, it does seem worth looking into, but we should not be shifting our primary focus from rebuilding IB and tourism.

      • Sickofantz says:

        Dear Lois

        2000 people are employed in Gibralter in this industry and the majority are accountants, lawyers and IT experts! (Ex-Pat ones!)

        • hmmm says:

          Gibralta grew that industry over 15 years.

          How much would we get in the first year, second year….Why would they move to Bermuda. What advanatages v’s their existing domicle in Gibralta?

        • Trulytruly says:

          Please direct your comments to mr. Burt. All I did was refer the section of the opinion piece for jt. I gave no comment personally.

          • Come Correct says:

            So now that we know you comment under multiple names and e-mails we can all now overlook your comments. How does it feel knowing your words now mean nothing? These political parties waste some money on paid comments for people that clearly aren’t intelligent enough to do the job and clearly have no clue about deception. It’s an art, you need practice.

            • hmmm says:

              Huh??? Are you trying to tell someone you are a master of deception.

              • Come Correct says:

                I takes a long time to master a skill but I could do better than this one, I just choose to have morals.

        • jt says:

          Please see Edmund’s comment above.

    • Onion says:

      It would provide an excellent opportunity for someone who runs an existing gambling den and their internet developer partner. Hmmmm….

  6. SMH says:

    Burt has no credibility nor enough business experience required to be making any statements about Bermuda’s financial situation. New jobs have been/will be created:
    -Hamilton Princess
    -Pink Beach
    -Morgan’s Point
    -Increase new companies that have register this year

    Investors confidence in Bermuda is growing by the day as our new policies start kicking in. People are buying homes again and investing in business to suggest that Bermuda’s new industry should be gaming is amateur at beat and nothing short of laughable.

    • watching says:

      All jobs in the hospitality industry.
      Why is this government refusing the diversify the countries revenue sources?

      • SMH says:

        By “This” Government I think you mean “Our” Government. Interesting that you think they’re “refusing” ha! to diversify our revenue source when you consider one of the first things “our” Government did was to set up an active Economic Development group. Interesting indeed.

      • aceboy says:

        You mean like supporting Long Line Fishing AND The Blue Halo (no take) Project at the same time? THAT sort of diversification, as suggested by Bean numerous times?

  7. Declan Harrison says:

    I cannot believe that this man is the shadow finance minister with his complack lack of understanding of how Bermuda’s economy works.

    I’m not a economist, but it’s as clear as day to me that if you have a strong international business sector, then the money that this generates flows down into the wider economy creating multitudes of second and third jobs. It was exactly the opposite of this priciple that killed Bermuda’s economy by the previous PLP Government.

    • DweD says:

      A strong IB sector does not need Bermuda to exist but Bermuda has made its economy dependent on IB. That is our biggest problem. We need economic policies that encourage the growth and development of new and underdeveloped markets and continue to treat IB like welcome guest and charge them an appropriate rent for the pleasure. The presence of IB in Bermuda lulled us into a false sense of economic security that puts us at the mercy of its whims. Times will be hard and some hard choices will need to be made, but we cannot continue to lump all our eggs in the same basket. Bermuda needs to grow up and create or grow enough that we can sustain ourselves while we wean ourselves of the tit of IB.

      • Declan Harrison says:

        There is no other viable industry for Bermuda, other than IB. Tourism will continue to be a niche industry that caters to an ever-declining market of old-fashioned vacationers. Until you and others understand this about IB, then you had better start working on your whaling skills, as the only thing that’s really keeping Bermuda between a relatively comfortable lifestyle and tin-shack houses is IB.

      • hmmm says:

        What Do you not understand about Bermuda.

        Any business to sustain Bermuda has to be international business.

        Money needs to come into the island. That is international business.

        Gambling sites is international business too.

        • Sickofantz says:

          Exactly. Online Gaming is international Business!

      • hmmm says:

        What do you mean at the mercy of it’s whims.

        The PLP took all the money generated by international business tax revenue (payroll tax and indirect taxes) and spent it. Not only did they just spend it they borrowed more and spent that.

        We were at the mercy of the PLP Whims and will take quite some time to recover from them.

        What do you suggest we export in order to create money coming into Bermuda? Gaming is international business (so with you, that is out).

    • Self says:

      What became of YOUR business?

  8. surprised says:

    Plp presenting solutions. What a refreshing change.

    • hmmm says:

      Really, solutions. Sounds more like a one trick pony to me.

      We know why the PLP didn’t put it in.

      They rely heavily on the church vote.

  9. Bermewjan says:

    Good article David. Well considered and delivered.

    • Sickofantz says:

      I think I may have misread it! Help me out here Bermewjan. Mr Burt Complains that the OBA have accused PLP of only having ‘ONline Gaming’ as an idea? But having read the artifcle I have come to the conclusion that…….THE ONLY IDEA THEY HAVE IS ONLINE GAMING!

  10. Kim Smith says:

    Perhaps if people stopped digging in their heels to stop the forward movement this goal could be realised. It’s been said before: we’re either part of the solution, or we’re part of the problem. It’s pretty easy to distinguish the one side from the other too.

  11. Drewgle says:

    How can we support online gaming when the internet goes out every time a cloud flies over the island???

  12. flikel says:

    “Is online gaming a panacea? No; but can it help? We think it can”

    OBA has a slim majority in Parliament. Why don’t the PLP put forward a comprehensive plan for online gaming along with drafts of the needed legislation and bring it to Parliament.

    With such a slim OBA majority in Parliament, if the PLP presents a well thought out plan, all they may need is two OBA MPs to support it.

    Instead of simply touting the idea of online gaming and questioning why the OBA is not supporting it…..the PLP should do the necessary work needed to make this a reality. With one or two OBA MPs on their side, this can be a reality.

    • watching says:

      OBA backbench doesn’t have the wherewithal to stand up and make their opinions known.
      Even if they did support it, would you expect Nandi Outerbridge, Leah Scott, Sylvan Richards, Jeff Souza to go against their party.
      Leah been muzzled since she spoke out against Cannonier. Nandi says nothing. Sylvan says nothing much of substance. And Souza the same.
      At least in the PLP you did have backbenchers disagreeing sometimes and verbalizing it.

      • hmmm says:

        With PLP, caucus says no.

      • flikel says:

        Even if noone in the OBA supports it, at least the people of Bermuda will have knowledge of the PLP’s plan, which will only help them when election time comes around.

        I get tired of people spewing ideas without any substance. I can spew ideas too….why dont the Govt introduce camel racing, its popular in the Middle East…so we should do it too.

        If I have an idea and noone listens, the onus should be on me to do the researchand come up with an actual plan as to how this can happen. I cannot fault someone for rejecting my idea, when I did not take the time to come up with an implementable plan.

      • PBanks says:

        Push a St. George’s angle and maybe Mr Bascome and Ms Roberts Holshauser can be enticed.

      • Redman says:

        @ watching,

        I would agree that both parties backbench is lacking, in fact none of them have had a strong and vociferous backbench for nearly twenty years.

        Suggesting that the PLP have a backbench that says something is fictional at best and bordering on fantasy!

  13. Politricks says:

    Did the PLP really just calculate the potential impact of online gaming by dividing Gibraltar’s industry by 4? Is that really what the Opposition considers to be well thought out research in terms of the potentials of the industry? Where are the cons associated with it? Or does the PLP honestly believe there is downside to online gaming?

    And does anyone know why most jurisdictions, in which we do business with and are considered to be ‘well regulated jurisdictions’ refuse to allow online gaming? Money laundering. So is the PLP ready to address the pitfalls or do they not care that Bermuda will be labeled not only a tax haven but now also a money laundering pit on top of that.

    I am all for diversification, but such half assed assumptions based on limited to no actual in depth research (i.e. dividing another country’s experience by 4) is just silly and frankly amateurish. Why not divide it by 2 instead to tout the potential benefits?

  14. Just a matter of time says:

    Wow these comments are amazing. If we switched David Burt’s name and face to someone of another “hue” with the same exact comments, there would be no vitriolic responses and nothing but praise would be given. You mean to say nothing he said had any merit? Not one itsey bitsey comment he said? There was nothing wrong with what David said, absolutely nothing. There is nothing wrong with trying to search for additional pillars for Bda as a forward way of thinking. There is nothing wrong with looking at different tourism and IB models and keeping up with global trends rather doing the same thing hoping for a different result. That is the definition of insanity. This is not trashing the current industries in Bda, it’s about being proactive and being progressive with these industries and more for the benefit of all. The PLP did not singlehandedly create the recession. The accumulated debt, although painful was necessary to plug annual deficits mostly as a result of businesses folding from the global effects creating less taxes. Up to that time everything was going fine. Jobs were good. Real estate was good. House rentals were good. The private sector didn’t complain. People and businesses were profiting. Were it not for the Heritage wharf construction, we would not have been able to accommodate the large cruise ships which are a major part of our tourism industry now. Thank goodness for that. There was so much flak on the fast ferries that Dr. Brown initiated and now they are a necessary mainstay and a vital tourist need from Dockyard. Thank goodness for that. Part of the debt included the BNTB bailout, was that a bad thing? Ask them, I bet they didn’t think so. It was private enterprises with all of their ‘expertise’ with their faulty (and greed driven) credit risk financial models that caused the global 2008 financial crash spiral. Ask the former AIG and other large IB businesses who got caught in that vortex. Was all of that a PLP doing?? Only in Bda would the local Govt at the time now be accused of businesses leaving due to the global financial meltdown which was beyond its control. Businesses flourished under a PLP Govt. The OBA have also increased the debt size. Where are the jobs they promised? Amazing. Wow. By the way SMH, I tried to respond to you in another article but my comments are still awaiting moderation.

    • watching says:

      Well said!

    • hmmm says:

      Sorry, but with that 10 second amateur hour investigation into potential for Bermuda that Burt put out for display, anyone would receive the same response. Has nothing to do with Hue, has to do with stupid.

    • LiarLiar says:

      Yes of course it is all about color. Always is right? And when you vehemently disagree with Fahy, Dunkley et al is that because of the hue of their skin?

      And no the excessive borrowing was not to plug the deficit hole created by the recession. From the downturn in 2008 to 2012 Government revenue fell from $928mn to $914mn which is only a drop of 1.5%. However, over the same time period the PLP increased expenditure $113mn or 9.9%. In actuality between 2008 and 2011 Govt revenue increased from $928mn to $997mn before falling to the $914mn 2012 figure I noted. So your argument about accumulating debt to plug the hole is false.

      Actually here are some real facts and not conjecture as you have offered:

      “Global recessions” didn’t cause the previous Government to increase the deficit by 1,421% between 2004 and 2008 (year end March 31st) which was caused by growing expenses by 43% while simultaneously only increasing revenue 19% over the same time period. Just to clarify this financial mismanagement occurred before what some commentators continually refer to as the “great recession.”

      Between 2005 and 2012 the previous Government increased expenditure 57% while revenues grew by 17% which in turn increased the budget deficit by 1,912%! As a result of this blatant financial “mismanagement” the BDA’s net debt exploded from a 2005 level of $128 million to $2.42 billion in 2012 which is a 1,787% increase!

      “Global recessions” don’t cause Governments to continually (as was the case over the time period in question) overspend by 30%, 50% and even more on capital projects resulting in hundreds of millions of wasted tax payer monies.

      “Global recessions” don’t cause Government to receive 4 consecutive qualified audits on their financials as was the case under the financial stewardship of the previous Government.

      “Global recessions” also don’t cause Governments to cease performing financial audits on the $1.5 billion underfunded pension plans run by Government for almost 5 years (see SAGE report) or ensure that all quangos are being audited in a timely and effective manner (re: BDA College).

      “Global recessions” don’t cause the bloating of the civil service and the aforementioned debt which in turn now consumes nearly TWO THIRDS of annual Government revenue which leaves little to nothing in terms of investments in upgrading BDA’s infrastructure and social programs.

      “Global recessions” don’t cause Governments to raise payroll tax in the middle of our deepest recession which deepened our recession even further and coupled with anti-business policies pushed these locally domiciled companies off of our shores into more expensive jurisdictions to do business (i.e. Zurich, Ireland, etc.). One would think that any Government and especially the Minister of Finance would have taken a basic Economics 101 course which states save during the good times, spend during the bad and don’t raise taxes when in a recessionary environment.

      None of the financial mismanagement noted is a direct cause of the ‘global recession’ myth that some wish to deflect to when this topic arises. There has been a slowdown in growth, but that doesn’t equate to a deep recession as BDA has felt over the last 5 years. Eventually some will have come to the realization that the previous administration left BDA in such financial bad shape that they prolonged the recession in this island while all others started their recovery many moons ago.

      The $$$ borrowed by the OBA when they got into power was to plug the $350mn deficit they inherited due to the financial mismanagement of their predecessors. If you think they shouldn’t have borroweed please enlighten us as to what obligations they should have defaulted on once in power.

      Lastly, the $200mn BNTB guarantee is an off-balance sheet committment that isn’t included in the total national debt figure of $2bn+. No cash traded hands as it was a simple guarantee.

      Call the above what you will, label my thoughts as you please, but you cannot refute the facts.

    • Girl on Fire says:

      Several points are wrong in this analysis.

      (1) Additional pillars are fine. I have no issue with exploring other options. However, I do have concerns with on line gaming and money laundering and its effect on our reputation which would affect business already here. That’s a legitimate concern and I don’t care whose idea it was. (I have no problem with legalizing gambling in Bermuda).

      (2) Your comments on government revenue are incorrect as shown by published reports. Government revenue increased from $884m million in 06/07 to $928.5 million in 07/08 and then again to $953m in 08/09. It dropped to $917m in 09/10, but then surged to $991m in 10/11 (due to payroll tax hike). It then dropped down to $914m in 11/12 – still comparable (and higher) than prior to the recession. So no, those budget deficits were NOT being used to plug lower revenue. It was used to pay for costly capital projects (with massive overruns) and a bloated civil service. Oh, and that payroll tax increase massively increased costs for IB and caused many jobs to move overseas, not just because of the expense, but also because of the mistrust of government who introduced it without consultation.

      (3) The PLP did not “bail” out BNTB. It wrote a guarantee, received fees for doing so, and never game them a dime. It has since expired. It actually is one of the few things they did which WAS a good idea.

      (4) Yes, the OBA did increase the debt. Would you prefer they just didn’t pay their staff? That’s one way to reduce staffing, just wait until you can’t pay them anymore.

    • 32n64w says:

      There are so many erroneous remarks in this statement but let’s start with a few that popped out right away:

      1. Our recurring deficits and related borrowing WERE NOT the result of businesses folding. It was directly related to the PLP massively growing the civil service plus hundreds of millions in capital overruns and frivolous non-core spending ($4m on the Beyonce concert as one example).

      2. Despite constantly taking credit for the idea, fast ferries were lined up before the PLP became Government.

      3. The Government provided a guarantee to BNTB investors, NOT a loan, and in return for this guarantee the bank PAYS Government $2m each year!

      4. Business left Bermuda primarily because the PLP created a hostile environment, randomly increased payroll taxes more than 17% without any advance notice and instituted a horribly conceived and executed term limits policy that drove key middle managers (the bread and butter of most organisations) to other jurisdictions.

      Finally your attempt to cast this as a racial issue is completely unwarranted, inaccurate and disrespectful.

    • jt says:

      There was a lot that was not right. ..or at least not well researched or presented…and that is what is being scrutinized.
      Why didn’t the plp act on online gaming?
      What are the potential downsides?
      Is money laundering an issue for concern?
      Are the job figures a realistic projection or simpleton math?
      As far as the general notion of broadening our economic base…I doubt anyone disagrees in principle with that.

  15. swing voter says:

    it doesn’t take a political guru to answer that question…the jobs will come from tighter immigration rules that doesn’t grant any employer a work permit for unskilled labor under any circumstances.

    • serengeti says:

      I’ve got news for you. Tighter immigration rules will not create one single job.

      • swing voter says:

        its so simple a cave man can do it…..no dual job description work permits. i.e. a mechanic/deliveryman, or a baker/deliveryman….any other duties. do you get it

    • frank says:

      that is what needs to be done now send all those unskilled workers home

  16. aceboy says:

    Mr. Burt, have you tried to open a business bank account recently?

    I assume not.

    Ask your glorious leader how easy it is…particularly in relation to gambling.

    Online gambling has all sorts of money laundering implications and frankly if you had one inkling of what it is like to operate a business properly you wouldn’t TOUCH online gambling with someone else’s ten foot pole.

  17. campervan says:

    Online gambling = cheesy.
    dont do it Bda, Stay classy.

  18. Wait for the surprise.... says:


  19. PATI says:

    New jobs proposed by the PLP = online gaming. What a load of rubbish!

  20. Starting point says:

    Dont ignore the fact that this suggestion comes from the PLP. Everyone knows they were incompetent and ill equipped to run the country then or ever again. It still should be considered, same with proper gaming in Bermuda. This is a far better suggestion than the marine economy, mining etc. those would take 15 plus years to show dividends. We could be doing classy casinos / high end gaming rooms in hotels by next summer.

    We have tenancy to dismiss the oppositions suggestions based on their track record of dismal fiscal management, it does not mean however that we should not use their ideas and then implement them in the proper manner.

  21. Unbelievable says:

    I read both opinion pieces and there is merit to both. I think if online gaming was introduced, then yes, it’s a good way to “diversify” the economy. No diss to Mr. Burt but it’s not the panacea but ok fine.

    What Mr. Richards said however in my view hold more weight. IB and Tourism are the two main industries. They must at all costs be maintained, sustained and supported. They must grow at every chance.

    This could be an instance where the OBA and the PLP collaborate for the sake of the country.

    • frank says:

      bob is…. go watch him perform in the house talks about Bermudians like they are a piece of sh==t
      one day he too will find that he is no longer needed

  22. Buds says:

    Online gaming is an IB sector. Why are there some bloggers here raising the issue of money laundering, when we are an offshore tax haven, aka, a sophisticated money laundering center? Why would HSBC, who have a presence in Bermuda, refuse to open an online gaming account, when not to long ago, they paid a couple of billion in fines for LAUNDERING Mexican cartel drug money? Hmmmmm…..Just this week, a Bermuda based firm, Brookfield LLC, the owners of four casinos, acquired another casino, from Bermuda? Using what bank accounts may I ask, and with what source of funding(casino money)? Your arguments hold no weight and are contradictory, especially since these same bloggers support the OBA plan of land based casinos in Bermuda, yet do not raise the very same AML issues.

    • aceboy says:

      Tell you what, why not ask Jeremy Cox down at the BMA why it is so hard to open an account for a betting shop or gaming “account” in Bermuda in today’s environment. He’ll tell you, afterall HSBC ARE regulated here….by the BMA.

      He’ll also tell you that casino gambling will need to “herald” a whole new regulatory regime, because of the AML issues surrounding the high cash volume business it produces. He’d probably suggest that such regulation should extend to gaming activities island-wide.

      I’d agree with him.

      Online gambling does not mean IB. If you go back and have a look at the E-Commerce legislation that was drawn up, under the PLP back in 1999 and 2000, you will note that Online Gambling was to be strictly prohibited, mostly due to the reputational risk that comes along with it for REAL International Business Centres, like Bermuda, Guernsey, Isle of Man etc.

      The fact that you equate online gambling with Reinsurance or other legitimate e-commerce businesses speaks volumes.

      You also seem to have a “they did it, so why can’t we” attitude. That speaks volumes too.

  23. Conservative says:

    Give MP Burt a break, he is doing his job and better than his former Finance Minister Cox who has officially shown interest in being the PLP Candidate in Constituency 33.

    Wait until MP Paula A Cox starts making statements again, at least you can understand what MP Burt is staying, clear plain understandable english.

  24. islandguy says:

    Not sure why Bermuda has all these problems? Almost everyone has a solution.

  25. Jahstice says:

    The PLP caused us yo lose jobs!

  26. do your job says:

    David Burt – why are you wasting your time writing opinion pieces when you should be calling a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee. If you want to hold the Government to account, do what you are paid to do! . Transparency and accountability will only occur if you do your job! How could we possibly trust you as Finance Minister when you are derelict in your duties as Shadow Finance Minister?

  27. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    You want to Gold Hard facts.

    Most of the new jobs are in Tourism,that is what we do, but tourism is in a mess, you may ask WHY tourism is in a mess.

    WHY is Tourism is in a mess because Bermuda it too expensive to pay around, $600.00 a night.

    I would not pay $600.00 a night for 5 days even on my birthday, would you ? but that is the way it has become !

    How many people do you know who can pay or want to pay $600.00 a night, not many !

    Our Hotel would like to to better that is sell more rooms at a better rate they are I think running at less half full, needing less staff.

    WHY is Bermuda is too expensive, lets face it the cost of living which is too high for visitors and locals alike.

    WHY is the cost of living high, because we live in an island where we have to import virtually every thing , that unavoidably cost money.

    What is it that is putting us out of business ?


    We WANT Tourism
    We don’t NEED high Taxation.

    It is DOUBLE DIP TAXATION ? are taxing our selves out of the every form of business there is, the list is endless.

    There are many examples of this double dip policy and other
    heavy taxes.

    I buy a car
    I pay import duty at twice the first cost of the car.
    I now have to pay annual license fees.


    We all know that Government can not run on a shoestring
    we need an airport and a hospital and a bunch of other stuff we don’t need till things get better we have to make things more affordable for our visitors by cutting back on high taxes.

    Hey Brother the money is not here, its all in Boston and New York.

    Can you two Governments and unions at least agree on something.

  28. GOD1ST says:

    Mr Burt is very informative with a plan that can revitalize Bermuda’s economy.