Premier’s Trip Cost $5.4K, Richards Cost $19.3K

February 16, 2015

A trip this month by Premier Michael Dunkley to Washington DC cost $5,472; while a trip late last year by Finance Minister Bob Richards to the United Kingdom cost $19,316, according to recent listings on the Government’s travel webpage.

The Premier’s trip duration was listed as Tuesday, February 03, 2015 – Friday, February 06, 2015, and the web page listing said, “The purpose of the trip was to meet with US Congressional Representative and to attend the 63rd National Prayer Breakfast.

“The Premier was accompanied by Dr. The Hon. E. Grant Gibbons JP, MP, Minister of Education and Economic Development, and Mrs. Cherie Whitter, Deputy Head of the Civil Service as well as Ms. Nea Talbot, Public Affairs Officer provided technical and media support.”

Expenses

  • Air Travel: $ 1,580.55
  • Ground Transportation: $
  • Accommodation: $3,728.15
  • Meals: $163.31
  • Miscellaneous: $
  • Total Cost: $5,472.01

Chart showing the total listings since the webpage went live in October 2014:

Ministers-Travel-Costs-150216-5

The trip by Minister of Finance Bob Richards to the UK took place from Sunday, November 30, 2014 – Thursday, December 04, 2014, and the web page listing said, “The Minister of Finance, the Hon. Everard T. Richards, JP. MP. and the Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. Derrick Binns, attended the Annual Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council [JMC] Conference in the United Kingdom [1st - 4th December, 2014].

“The JMC brings together political leaders from the Overseas Territories and UK Ministers, and is the principle forum for reviewing and implementing the shared strategy for promoting the security and good governance of the Territories and their sustainable economic and social development.

“The Minister and the Cabinet Secretary also met for discussions with the Minister responsible for the Overseas Territories and other UK Government and private sector officials.

“The cost for travel also include the cost for the Cabinet Secretary.”

Expenses

  • Air Travel: $12,550.75
  • Ground Transportation: $104.46
  • Accommodation: $6,161.13
  • Meals: $304.14
  • Miscellaneous: $195.60
  • Total Cost: $19,316.08

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Comments (54)

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  1. BDA Onion says:

    i’m sorry WHAT?!?!? $12,550.75 for a plane ticket!!! Surely as a minister of finance KNOWING bermuda is in need to save as much as possible.. you couldn’t take a cheaper seat?? was first class the only option???

    • BDA Onion says:

      *2 plane tickets at that price is too much

      • Onion says:

        That’s normal for business class unrestricted tickets.

        Business class makes sense because it is a red-eye overnight flight and with the sleeper seats you can work in the morning withot losing a day.

      • Mike says:

        These tickets are quite clearly business class purchased close to travel dates. Not an unusual situation for senior business travel. You should have taken more notice of Your governments travel costs under the PLP. Trips to Australia, India, China and the 7STAR Dubai ‘Burj Al Arab’ but I guess that was OK because it was ‘HIS TURN’ You guys make me laugh out loud.

    • Wake up Bie says:

      Do as the Finance Minister says, not as he does. :) Premier you keep talking about saving money, so why are all the government workers taking GPs home. Some of them are actually using them like personal family cars.

      All government civil service vehicles should be left at their prospective work place after 5pm. Do you know how much gas money that would save the Bermuda tax payer? You keep talking about things are bad but this bad behavior continues!

      • my view says:

        Wake up ,you are on the right track ,but as a government worker I can tell you it is way worst than you think .It is very serious waste in that area, and some fruad where private cars are used to perform gov. tasks. Example is anyone checking the type of mileage cars are getting(miles per gallon or lts) and mileage for gov cars vs gas use.
        Finally THAT PATROIT JEEP (the very clean white one that lives in Southampton) should be parked at five every day at the depo . That jeep was and still is a complete waste of money. As a tax payer I am appalled at this waste of funds.$76,000 or there abouts.

      • JAWS says:

        Premier Michael Dunkley, JP, MP please place a stop to this. This is out of control. I see the picture clearly now, as the wife takes the family car and the husband is driving the government car or vice versa. More $$$$money wasted. No wonder the tires are being replaced so fast which leads to more government money being spent.

        • Lebron says:

          You can’t seriously expect the second most senior government official to fly coach?

          6 grand is what it costs. Blame BA not Bob Richards.

    • Spectator says:

      Does anyone read anymore? “The costs for travel also include the cost for the Cabinet Secretary.” The $12,550 covers TWO business class tickets. Now that we’ve settled that, that frees you up to get right to the business class vs. economy class argument that seems to use up endless space in these posts.

    • stunned... says:

      If y’all want to complain you should vent at the feet of British Airways who have a monopoly/captive market. Wouldn’t be as much fun tho’…

  2. I heart 441 says:

    Air travel for two in excess of 12k. Did they get a private jet? Ludicrous

  3. mmmmm!!! says:

    LOOKS LIKE BOB BE SPENDING WAY TO MUCH MONEY FOR SUCH SHORT TRIPS!!!

    • Mike says:

      Well (I heart 441 )You are obviously not in this century. A private jet to UK or anywhwere in Europe would be 3 or 4 times this, if you got a deal !!and I don’t think you’d get one that good.
      They obviously got business class which is TOTALLY appropriate.

      Did you ever check how much it cost Your PLP premier to fly to and stay in Dubai at the 7 Star Burj Al Arab. Not to mention India, China and Australia. That’s where all the money went, WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING!!

      • I heart 441 says:

        My apologies for being a average person who just happens to travel on coach and you obviously travel business or by private jet cause you seem to know it all. Smh

  4. De Winna says:

    It looks like the MP Grant Gibbons is the most Economical of the List.
    The most expensive was MP Bob Richards at $19,310 – was he Living like a King or What! – this is the trip Thats going to set The Blogging Media,and Radio Talk Show ablaze today.
    The cost is mounting.

    • De Winna says:

      Made an error: MP Richards trip cost was -$19,316.08.

    • Mike says:

      Everybody who calls up a talk show about this should be using their time in a more responsible and adult fashion thinking about how we can get back all the business and investment that the PLP scared away with their aggressive tax proposals and general antisocial and unfriendly remarks.

  5. Tree Hugger says:

    Bloggers please give the finance minister time and space to breathe and work as he needed to look under the hood properly to clear up you lots mess.

    And fortunately for us you are even able to know what something cost as the PLPs entourage travel shared no info with you lot

    • Well then says:

      Im an Oba supporter… Time to stop complaining about the plp and using the blame game for justification of stupid mistakes caused by our party members.
      If bob is spending that much money on a flight then how does that make him any better than the past plp members who went on spending sprees?
      As our FINANCE minister you think he would be more conservative with OUR money.

      • @ Well then; I totally agree.
        “As our FINANCE minister you think he would be more conservative with OUR money.”
        Yes maybe someone in the One Bermuda Alliance Party / Government or Minister Bob Richards will explain this to, “we the people”? It’s an excessive amount of monies spent, so please be more explicit :-(

  6. .... says:

    Do we know if the travel cost was for just Min. Richards or both him and Dr. Binns?

  7. aceboy says:

    At least we didn’t pay for body guards and gombeys.

  8. aceboy says:

    There are two airline tickets in that figure and are obviously business class tickets, which I don’t have a problem with at all.

    —-

    The Minister of Finance, the Hon. Everard T. Richards, JP. MP. and the Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. Derrick Binns, attended the Annual Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council [JMC] Conference in the United Kingdom [1st - 4th December, 2014].

    The cost for travel also include the cost for the Cabinet Secretary

  9. dream big says:

    in 2 months.. Bob spent over 2/3rds of my yearly income..on travel

    • inna says:

      You are clearly not dreaming too big, and sounds like you need a new job mate!!

  10. so immature says:

    No wonder Bob Richards wants me to continue my furlough days, so he can travel in luxury.Yes I did vote OBA and I’m a middle aged black Bermudian that has a career job in Government that I train n work hard for, so you supporters of his ignorance can say what you like but the middle and back section of a plane arrive at the same destination as the front. All for a hot meal and liquor. Smh. Governments are suppose to be for the Country and her people no matter who’s in place Plp or Ubp/Oba.

    • aceboy says:

      It is actually so that they can lie down and get some rest before dealing with some very important issues on behalf of this island.

      Did you complain about the trips to India and China in the past? Ignorance there too right? Body guards and gombeys?

      • @ aceboy: Not to be justifying the monies spent but you are correct when stating we never heard any complaints from the P.L.P. supporters when the “shoe was on the other foot.” :-(

      • devils advocate says:

        Last time i checked you can sleep in economy class as well

  11. mike says:

    Fly Coach.

  12. Never Never says:

    It’s ridiculous we all know it let’s call it what it is do as I say not what I do. Uncle Bob don’t worry you and the OBA do no wrong besides you have all the answers. You and your party are the only hope we have Lord help us we’re in real trouble now SMDH lol hahahahaha

  13. Ameboa says:

    The Richest one on the list is the most economical.. I wonder why??

  14. nomoremoney says:

    Trips to London, ya, well BA is always ripping us off. If you have to go to London on short notice, like booking this Monday am and leave friday, the business ticket will cost $5,975.16, and economy premium is $3,169.16. So Bob could have saved 3k. What should happen is Bermuda needs to fight for opening up the route to a competitor. That would change it immediately. Virgin would be nice twice a week.

    1st would be $8,729.16 for the same return london booking in 1st class. Crazy!!!!

  15. jt says:

    I am interested in seeing what the overall reductions to travel expenses are for the year….compared to last year and to previous years.

  16. Triangle Drifter says:

    Before judging one way or another I wanna see some travel records for the time period 2008 to 2012. Travel expense records, adusted for inflation of course, from pre 1998 would be nice too.

    Lets see who really did all of the frivolous trips & what they cost the taxpayer before moaning about current expenses.

    Premier Dunkley has done only 3 trips since September. Most recent previous Premiers never seemed to be home minding the store. Why did they need to travel so much & Premier Dunkley needs to travel so little?

  17. esk says:

    What surprises me is not the cost of the air travel, it’s the accomodation costs. If they got the BA flight out overnight on the 1st and came back on the 4th, then they were only in the UK for two nights. That’s over $1,500 a night each. Where were they staying, The Ritz?!

    • aceboy says:

      Maybe, if that is where he was meeting with politicians in the UK. Any of the big hotels will charge over GBP 600 per night. Add gratuities and tax and then multiply by two…..

  18. more than enough says:

    the above chart is titled “minister’s travel costs” which indicates to me, that it is a specific account of the cost of the named minister on said chart.
    or are we to believe that this refers to all other information but, in the case of bob, it also includes dr binns..? i don’t think so.
    in addition, wasn’t bob on the washington trip with the premier? why are those costs posted at the same time as dunkleys figures? a bit slow with the numbers bob?
    i propose that when trips are taken by gov. and co. , a comprehensive list of all expenditure incurred by all involved, presented together, highlighting, most importantly, the total sum of all costs…including on island administrative cs costs, ie flight planning, booking accomodation, transportation, meetings, phone calls, salaries,consultants,etc.. a total tally of the numbers would be nice. also a projected returns chart, on money spent, might be a good thing to consider publishing. otherwise we are left to speculate that we will never see any returns on this money, which lead me to the conclusion that y’all shouldn’t be traveling at all.

  19. big lad says:

    He knew that the public would find out about the costs associated with this trip.
    Beyond the plane tickets, (flying business class for a red eye flight can be excused in my opinion) he should justify what these additional costs to the tune of $7,500 are. In the interest of transparency, there’s absolutely no reason why he should hide from this.

  20. Hurricane says:

    And Bob wants us to believe that money doesn’t grow on trees.

  21. more than enough says:

    and look at dunkley’s accommodation cost…that ain’t no best western, even though the food costs looks like he was eating at mc donalds. bob’s accomodation cost half of his flight fare, whereas mikey spent twice his airfare on accomodation.

  22. more than enough says:

    so far this chart denotes bob as not being very frugal, 6,161. 13 for a four night stay not fiscally responsible, as far as i’m concerned. that is approximately $1,500 per night… goo job bob, good job.

  23. Christian Wright says:

    Just a heads up to all those ranting about the cost of his ” plane ticket”, A round trip flight from Bermuda to London on November 30 on a private small prop JET will cost you $12,550 exact.

    • aceboy says:

      What is a prop jet?

      Who is quoting you that figure because it is absolute nonsense.

      A private jet to the Caribbean costs about 40k. To London I suspect that it would be double that.

  24. more than enough says:

    so bob opted to go private with the public purse..? mmmm mmmmn…

  25. more than enough says:

    must be nice…getting paid, to fly around for free.

  26. chip says:

    Bob you know better !

  27. chip says:

    We on a tight budget? My … ?

  28. Triangle Drifter says:

    When Bob Richards & Michael Dunkley start running up bills at the Playboy Mansion or go jetting off to Dubai, then you can complain. Till then combine woopie with travel & …. … .