Simmons: ‘OBA Made Errors, Misleading Claims’

August 25, 2020

“In one of their first statements for the general election, the One Bermuda Alliance made several factual errors and misleading claims,” PLP MP Jamahl Simmons said.

Mr Simmons said, “The people of Bermuda deserve to hear the truth.

“1] Regarding jobs, according to the Bermuda Labour Force Survey, the Bermudian unemployment rate in May 2016, the last report taken under the OBA government, was 8.2%. In November 2019, it was 4.4%. Under the OBA Bermuda lost 2000 jobs, in 2019, after 2 years of the PLP in charge, Bermuda had 650 more jobs than in 2017.

“2] Regarding COVID’s health impact; we have not had a single death in several months, currently no hospitalizations and almost all our cases are imported and they are isolated.

“3] In the OBA’s final budget, the predicted budgeted deficit was $134 million and that was after they doubled the national debt during their term. To say that the OBA left a budget $8 million away from being balanced is the OBA leader doing what he does best, misleading the public. The Deficit in the OBA’s last full year in charge of the Economy was $182 Million.

“4] The OBA seems to not understand basic math – A general election AND by-elections combined cost more than a general election alone. They conveniently ignore that in a handful of months we would have had to have paid for a general election regardless. So, it would be more prudent to save taxpayers money in the long run by getting on with the general election instead of incurring it’s cost and the cost of by-elections, of which the OBA leader said that we can expect more.

“5] The last full upgrade of the bus fleet in Bermuda came under the PLP. Under the OBA, the transport budget was slashed and buses regularly broke down.We have invested in public transport while the OBA did not.

“6] The US Consul General said, regarding Bermuda’s COVID safety, “The testing regime for COVID-19 on the island has been effective as the number of cases remain low. The strict protocols put in place for travelers and residents by the Government of Bermuda has limited risks island-wide, and has created a generally safe environment for many with the opening of the airport and resumption of most businesses.”

“7] A number of jurisdictions in our region and around the world have safely held elections since the pandemic began. In CARICOM, elections occurred safely in Suriname, St. Kitts/Nevis, Anguilla and Trinidad & Tobago with Jamaica coming soon. There are specific protocols in place to keep elections safe and the former Parliamentary registrar noted that he believed that we can hold safe elections.

“8] Nowhere has the PLP said that our “next move” is independence and we challenge the OBA to specifically show the quote wherein we said that. We believe that in the absence of strong, credible leadership the OBA is slyly seeking to create fear and division over this issue.

“At the end of the day, we need strong leadership in Bermuda, and, what this release shows is an opposition party that once again has no problem misleading Bermudians to try to gain power. This election is about leadership and it is clear that scaring people into not voting, not being able to do simple math and hiding the truth are all that Mr. Cannonier’s party has to offer.

“Bermudians deserve better than that.”

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Comments (18)

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  1. Mark says:

    did someone from the plp honestly just accuse someone else of misleading and not telling the truth? lol smh what an upside down trump world we live in. Thanks plp!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      The PLP have 2 former leaders of the UBP amongst their 25 members in House of Assembly. They learned from the best!

  2. Cow Polly says:

    blah blah – tell us your economic plan!

    • Yellow Pillow says:

      I’m getting really tired of hearing from both sides why I shouldn’t vote for the other side.

      It’s like no one, PLP nor OBA have any ideas.

  3. Ringmaster says:

    Bermuda is not only suffering greatly economically, but it is seeing a type of initiation. Last week it was Kim Swan, ex UBP Leader complying with the instructions to trash his old party to gain acceptance into the PLP. Now it is Jamahl Simmons, ex UBP, so next it will be Wayne Furbert, ex UBP.

    What a sad and pathetic display. Bermuda used to be the pearl in the Atlantic, now it is the cess pit.

  4. truthertz says:

    “In the OBA’s final budget, the predicted budgeted deficit was $134 million and that was after they doubled the national debt during their term”

    Now compare that number to the the inherited PLP $400mn+ annual deficit you left behind in 2013. Context is very important when throwing around these figures.

    Also, OBA didn’t double the debt. For the financial year-end of 2013 (PLP budget) the debt was $2,013,979,647 with an annual deficit of $407,990,925. For the 2017 year-end (OBA budget, but with PLP voted in 3 months into the fiscal year) the debt stood at $2,984,884,481. By my math that is nowhere near ‘doubling the debt’ as you and your supporters like to go on about it is actually less than 50%. Not bad for Party that inherited a $400mn+ annual deficit from your PLP. Links to the audited financials are above for confirmation.

    In terms of employment what Mr. Simmons forgot to mention is that the underemployed and unemployed increased by approximately 400 and 300 respectively from 2018 to 2019 with the actual working population growing by 310 people. In the same report above Table 6 shows that Bermudian unemployed persons increased by around 350 people between November 2018 and May 2019. Of that increase almost 200 were black Bermudians. Over that time period unemployment grew from 4.5% to 5.2% (Table 1). In 2012 the PLP oversaw the loss of 2,000 jobs in one year and thus it can be argued that the OBA slowed this down.

    Now lets see your comments on the GDP reports for the latter half of 2019 in which the economy contracted in Q3 and grew by a platry 0.3% in Q4. And those dismal figures were prior to Covid-19 and when the USA economy was growing at 3%+.

  5. Free loader says:

    Stop your noise.

  6. Bermuda born... Bermuda Raised says:

    Oh for the love… i wish the whole lot of you would just stop talkIng and actually do some work. It’s this childish back and forward that makes you all look ridiculous. It’s like the professional basketball player who spends his time hollering at heckling fans instead of just making the free throw and let the score talk the trash or the pro golfer who shouts at the fans instead of swinging the club… JUST HIT THE BALL MATE!

    I’m a swing voter and literally can’t be bothered to waste my time voting for any of you until you actually show up with real plans and a real agenda.

    Get your acts together


  7. kevin says:

    Wow this is the funniest thing ive heard and if he believes what he is saying he should be given an award for being most uninformed… Burt and his slew of clowns will juggle and tumble and make you want to believe they have done a great job this government can be given no credit for our safety 3 blind mice would have done the same instead all credit to our 3.5 billion dollar debt .want to talk stats lets talk real stats where we were in 1998 and now thats real facts how you go from money in the bank to 3.5 billion in debt THAnK YOU PLP

  8. Double S says:

    When did 27 months become a ‘handful of months?’

    • spinspinspin says:

      I thought that was hilarious as well. Surely PLPers can’t fall for that type of outright obfuscation.

  9. Hey says:

    1. You know what on point 1 re jobs, that first year would have been as a result of the OBA’ efforts. They had turned the economy around and we were on a rise, A number of those jobs related to the airport work. So Jahamal is praising the OBA.

    It is amazing how these politicians spin things to make it sound like they did it. Unimpressed Jahmal.

    2. I don’t think we should be praising ourselves on COVID yet, I think shutting the island was the ONLY cause of action because we didn’t have enough tests, we didn’t have enough respirators and we were not prepared to handle the pandemic. The UK bailed us out by shipping thousand of tests. Private donors and Companies on the island bought respirators. If we did not have the private support and the support of the UK, there would have been many more deaths. How about. a thank you, but not from the PLP. PLP should have pulblicly thanked all those people, companies and donors and heaped praise for the help, but no, here Instead PLP are looking to take 100% credit. They quickly forgot about all the health workers now the election is happening.

    Got bored, as soon as you said maths, Burt maths sprang into my mind, oh well. The PLP conveniently forget to mention that it was after their many years in power that we were in financial distress. We were falling and fast. To turn around a Situation, you don’t just throw a switch. It takes hard work and effort. What caused the number of jobs to not be reached by the OBA was international business. In particular, the reinsurance industry, where a soft market and low interest rates mean’t companies needed to cut costs to survive. One way of doing the is bay practically halving the workforce through merger. Lots of mergers and acquisitions resulted and with that came large numbers of redundancies. Each and every person knows of someone who fell victim to the industry cull. You can go back through redundancy announcements and add them up. Thousands.

    Sorry that was a bit long winded, a bit like Jahmals arrogant and misleading claims.

  10. aint wasteing my time says:

    when we have grown ups with brains not lill babies battling it out for US ALL bermudians like the kindergarten bunch we have now, he said she said oh boo hoo. i have seen pre schoolers better behaved and MORE HONESTthn this bunch, Jamel took good lessons from the spin Dr, and he does it with a strait face?perhaps he believes what crap he talks, as for the rest NOT INTERESTED. Hey OJ the sky is falling!!

  11. Question says:

    How many buses were purchased by the PLP which were never put into full time service?

  12. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The people of Bermuda deserve to hear the truth”

    I agree. But I have never heard it from any politician of any political persuasion.

  13. dunn juice says:

    Another flip flopper flapping nothing but hot air,