Bermuda’s Politicians To Take 12.5% Pay Cut

May 19, 2020 | 51 Comments

Revisions to Parliamentary pay will be tabled in the House of Assembly, with Parliamentarians set to take a 12.5 percent reduction, Premier David Burt said.

Speaking at last night’s press briefing, Premier David Burt said, “Following our meeting of Cabinet yesterday and after conversations with both the Government’s backbench and the Opposition, we will be doing precisely and leading from the front, of which we’ve asked public sector workers to do.

“So we will be tabling in the House of Assembly revisions to Parliamentary pay, and that will be a 12.5 percent reduction, and with an additional suspension to the public service superannuation fund for Ministers, Members and Officers of the Legislature.”

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MPs currently make $56,023, full time Ministers make $156,864, the Attorney General makes $203,045, the Premier makes $207,285 and the Opposition Leader makes $86,390.

The Government is understood to have approached the BPSU with a proposal which included a $106.8m cut to employee payroll and benefits coupled with a $43m cut in all other spending. Premier Burt has said that the proposal put forward to the Unions would not involve anyone taking home less pay.

It is said to include a 10% payroll cut to all Government employees [including all quangos], overtime paid at straight time, suspending all superannuation contributions for one year with the employee retaining their 8% contribution, and Government retaining its 8% contribution, suspending all social insurance payments for one year, a voluntary early retirement incentive programme and a hiring freeze, with some exceptions to be made.

In a message circulating, the BPSU reportedly said, “Public Officers are professionals dedicated to serving Bermuda; many of whom have taken on additional responsibilities for years without any additional compensation due to on-going budgetary constraints and hiring freezes. Many BPSU members have been serving on the Covid-19 frontline since the beginning of the pandemic at the very risk of their own lives.

“There are wide-sweeping economic consequences associated with a cut in Public Officers’ salaries. Public Service employees are taxpayers; cuts to their salaries will negatively impact tax revenues.  Public Officers are also the largest employee consumer group on the Island; they are major supporters of local businesses.  Officers are tenants and have rents to pay; they have mortgage obligations.

The message adds that they “strongly contend that any mutually agreed salary cut for Public Officers must be coupled with private-sector relief including a reduction in mortgage interest rates, electricity costs, food costs and health insurance premiums.

“It is the position of the BPSU that there must be shared sacrifice and a re-balancing of the burden; this is even more important given the economic crisis the country is facing as the inequities in Bermuda have been magnified,” they said.

“The BPSU will be submitting a counterproposal which will include the wide range of suggestions from our members regarding cost-cutting initiatives, improving efficiencies along with revenue-generating ideas.”

Minister of Finance Curtis Dickinson has previously said that the pandemic “unleashed both a global health emergency and an unprecedented economic crisis of historic magnitude.”

The debt ceiling has already been raised to $2.9 billion, and the Minister said that unbudgeted Covid-19 expenditures for this fiscal year are estimated to be in the range of $70-$80 million, explaining that Covid-19 will also cause a major decline in Government revenues, with the Ministry estimating that revenue yields for 2020/21 could contract in the range of $175-$200 million.

“After factoring in the impact of Covid-19, the revised deficit for 2020/21 is estimated to be in the range of $275-$315 million. This level of deficit is not only unsustainable but economically and fiscally imprudent. When considering the current high level of public debt, the Ministry of Finance regards this level of deficit as a serious challenge,” Minister Dickson said.

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Comments (51)

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  1. Double S says:

    “Public Officers are also the largest employee consumer group on the Island”

    No you are not. The majority of the workforce is employed by the private sector.

    • Truth says:

      What private company has more employees hmmm…….STOP BEING A DUMB DOUBLE a$$.

      • sandgrownan says:

        More people work in the private sector. I think you have basic reading comprehension skills.

      • Double S says:

        Do you honestly think that the Civil Servants make up the majority of the workforce dumb a$$?

        • JAWS says:

          Both of you are DUMB A$$ 4 typing words that mean little during these changing times.

      • Double S says:

        And without the private sector taxes the public sector would be unable to ‘consume’ a thing dumb a$$.

      • saud says:

        STOP BEING A DUMB DOUBLE a$$.

        You really are proud of your ignorance, aren’t you?

      • acegurl says:

        So rude!

  2. Just wondering says:

    Will the Minister without portfolio will be eliminated? Will the political consultants be cut also? There are a number of them on the government payroll. In the Ministry of Education, the Cabinet Office and AG Chambers, etc.

  3. Ringmaster says:

    Does this also apply to Ministers’ salaries? Why not reduce the number of Ministers too?
    As to suspending pension contributions that is a disgrace and shameful as any shortfall will have to be paid by the private sector in more taxes. Same for the BPSU. So much for sharing the pain, it’s merely shifting more pain. Stop the defined benefits pensions which won’t be paid anyway by 2030 due to lack of funds and convert to contributory to match the private sector. Had the Government not stopped paying into the sinking fund there would also be more funds available, but they wanted to give the illusion of a balanced budget and it’s come back to bite hard.

    • James says:

      Don’t worry UBP/oba supporter you can run next election.

      • Ringmaster says:

        UBP/OBA supporter? No way, just a person who can see what is likely to happen. Why would the OBA want to govern again? Look what happened in 2012-2017. The OBA were being attacked from all sides of the PLP Combined Opposition yet managed to bring an out of control economy back from the brink. After 2017 the PLP have taken Bermuda over the brink by shamefully “balancing” the budget by not paying into the sinking fund. The PLP need to continue for many years so that people like you see the dire position Bermuda is in. If Bermuda’s rating drops because of the increased debt, IB will have to leave. That’s pretty much all Government revenue gone, but massive debt. Enjoy.

        • WHAT? says:

          Don’t worry we still have to pay the $185 + mill for the oba hotel at Morgans point and $$$$$$ for the worst small airport built since Noah’s Ark.

          • The dark knight says:

            Wow your stupid and apart of the problem

          • comedy says:

            Noah’s Ark was an airport? What bible are you reading?

            • hmmm says:

              Wait until you see the inside of the airport. It will be a complete nightmare for visitors when they line up in the passport arrival hall. The hall is smaller than the current one. Pure stupidity.

      • Double S says:

        What an intelligent response. To be expected unfortunately though. Why do you want to see BDA fail?

    • jj says:

      Cutting the number of ministers is irrelevant when it comes to the numbers .. People continually speak with an emotional bias instead of thinking about the logical numbers.

      A cross the board cut makes more sense(cents and dollars) then cutting a number of individuals.

  4. bluenose says:

    What about the rest of the Public Sector Employees? Particularly those languishing at home on full salary. (Allegedly)

  5. sage says:

    Too little to late, should be 25% for $156 grand and under 30% fore $200 G’s and up and retroactive to March. Their golden pensions should be examined and reduced significantly.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      No THAT would make a meaningful difference. 12.5% for MPs is nothing but very little window dressing.

      • TO TRIANGLE DRIFTER:
        When the notorious O.B.A. was n power, during stressful, economic times,Dunkley, Cannonier,et.al.,NEVER even considered taking pay cuts.
        Do you have ideas on that???

  6. Hey says:

    So they are not actually taking a pay cut as they will receive the same money. Am sorry but, this is just political spin.

    Does Burt think Bermudians are stupid.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      “Does Burt think Bermudians are stupid ?”
      Well , duuh . How do you think a party that preaches division and bankrupted our economy was able to be re-elected ?

      • Eyes wide open says:

        Listen up bot the UBP=oba was built from division and racism. Changing a white leader to a black leader and changing the party name to try and gain black votes lolol from it’s dirty past…………………………….. is just for starters.

  7. sandgrownan says:

    During last night’s presser, Burt confirmed what we all knew. The PLP and “The Unions” share the same collective ideological DNA. They march in lockstep, are joined at the hip. No real surprise there, there are political parties the world over that had their roots in the labour movement.

    The issue is this. The private sector has taken all the pain so far during the current crisis. The Premier and his colleagues have largely done a good job managing the situation but there’s a massive elephant in the room.

    That elephant is our bloated civil service. Let’s be honest for a moment, the economy was boned before COVID took hold, we don’t have enough taxpayers to support a CS that is overstaffed by any reasonable measure or comparison. We’ve seen that potential savings that range from $65M to $165M are being discussed. It’s all very well for the government to allow people to raid there pension funds, not to pay into the superannuation fund…but what then? What’s next? What’s the plan to increase investment, grow the population (because that’s the only solution).

    When will Burt and Dickinson do the right thing for Bermuda rather than there political bedfellows.

    • sandgrownan says:

      *their

    • WHAT? says:

      You need to return to school and stop being a old hag on a keyboard.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        “You need to return to school and stop being a old hag on a keyboard.”

        You need to return to school and stop being AN old hag on a keyboard.

        Now , who is it that needs to go back to school ?

      • sandgrownan says:

        hmmm..but what is Burt going to do? The economy is screwed either way.

  8. trufth says:

    Meanwhile, many people sit home after taking a 100% pay cut.

  9. Adrianne says:

    Seeing is believing this small cut in their wages they wont even notice it while most of us Bermudians/taxpayers are SUFFOURING BADLY

    • Heya says:

      They won’t notice it at all, as they will receive the same amount as before the pay cut as they have removed the requirement to pay a portion of their salary into the super annuation fund. Guess what, you, me and all the other ta
      Xpayers are going to have to pick up that tab, not the politicians.

  10. comfortably numb says:

    ‘Leading from the front’? How long have the private sector been suffering- eight weeks or more? More like leading from behind, as usual. Additionally, Burt is usually well spoken so I’m surprised he continually uses the expression ‘of which’ when the ‘of’ is clearly redundant, as used in his statement above.

  11. Sick and tired says:

    You want to stop paying out pension benefits for a year so what are the retirees supposed to live on. Furthermore these monies belong to the people who have paid this all their working lives. These monies they are entitled to. This government has lost their minds. So how do you propose that these people survive. Maybe they can collect financial assistance.

  12. Sounds like says:

    A lot of people would only be happy if mps took a 110Percent cut.

    • Heya says:

      I think people want to see them lead by example. What they have done is say they have taken a cut, but still receive the same money. Their ‘alleged pay cut’ is offset by not having money deducted from their pay to go into the super annuation fund. This is not a pay cut in substance, They are no worse off than they were last month. Yet, they chose to spin it to us Bermudians like they had.

      This is plying politics with Bermudians, when we really want to see truth. And facts.

    • Warrior says:

      Totally agree. My son has not received anything from Government, he has been waiting for weeks.

      • Get a job says:

        Awww he has been waiting for a check from me and all other working taxpayers? Too bad – get a job! I am now cutting grass and bagging groceries to get by without sitting at home waiting on my handout check!!

  13. acegurl says:

    Why would the Cil Service just appoint another consultant. Is Dr Bonn’s not talking to the Finance Minister?

  14. Guy Carri says:

    LMAO!
    “Hey Bermuda, we’re going to do what the OBA was doing and try to cut back on civil service costs, only we’re going to do it because we’re teetering on the edge of the cliff. OBA was doing it and it wasn’t even a cliffhanger! I know, I know, we criticized them, but whatever, we’re not talking about that.”

    Good idea. Let’s not put more money in the kitty for pension. It’s already underfunded and going to run out in the near future. Let’s just accelerate it.

  15. Truth is killin’ me... says:

    Call an election now!! People want to vote on how this COVID-19 was handled and also the ramifications of the future economy!!!

  16. Triangle Drifter says:

    So the MPs have taken a token 12.5% pay cut. Effective as of what date? Does this include Ministerial salary as well or is there silence on that?

    Just a couple questions that the media could ask tomorrow.

    The whole situation reeks of cowardice.

  17. Premier....What a Joke says:

    Leading from the front, wow he is really in his own world, he stays chasing from the back and it’s such a shame. 12.5% and 10% isn’t nothing when Gibbons cut staff salaries by 50%, the BTA cut staff salaries by 40% and 20%, Aon cut staff salaries by 20% and the list goes on! If the Premier is saying that 12.5% is the standard cut maybe he should let the others know they should do the same….sorry forgot he doesn’t have that type of influence as we saw with the Bank of Butterfield and interest rates!

    Cut the red-tape and antiquated civil servants who are hell bent on keeping status quo and as for the Premier and his MP’s…we so need another option for governance.

    • Eyes wide open says:

      Don’t worry UBP voter will get 24 -11 again since the party you support is racist.

      • sandgrownan says:

        What’s the plan to rescue the economy? Ignore PLP/OBA, what’s the government plan?

        What if the remaining tax payers simply refused given government mismanagement and failure, and the refusal of the unions for public sector workers to share some of the sacrifice?

  18. Sacrificial Lamb22 says:

    Reduce the number of Ministers lol.

    Sure I mean get rid of the voiceless OBA Ministers.

    That Landslide Victory plus 2 makes the OBA a non contender. Why pay them anything at all. Useless Oposition = waste of money…

    Those are the Ministers that your referring to correct?

    I mean because you certainly can’t be trying to close the gap in the house by removing Government Ministers?

    Be specific……

    • sandgrownan says:

      The OBA don’t have any Ministers, they are MP’s.

      But regardless, the economy is friar tucked. it was before COVID, and it’s in tailspin as a direct result of almost 20 years of PLP mismanagement and incompetence. What now? Where’s the grand plan?

    • Oh well says:

      Indeed the OBA is truly the worst opposition ever. Bermuda will fall of the cliffs and only a few fools and radical racists will vote for them. A third party needs to be form I said it many times the BDA party never should have merged with the UBP to create the OBA.

  19. Kathy says:

    Thank you. Much needed savings during these trying times!

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