BPSU: ‘Budget Strikes The Appropriate Balance’

March 1, 2021 | 2 Comments

The Bermuda Public Services Union [BPSU] said the 2021/22 Budget ”strikes the appropriate balance” has a ”pragmatic approach provides relief for the unemployed and aims for economic recovery as well as financial reforms.”

BPSU President Armell Thomas said, “The Bermuda Public Services Union [BPSU] believes that the Bermuda Government’s 2021-22 Budget strikes the appropriate balance between supporting an economic recovery as the pandemic eases while still addressing the important need to begin the journey to a balanced annual budget by fiscal year 2023-24 and begin reduction in the Government’s debt.

“It is particularly good to see that the 2020-21 deficit is forecasted at $245M, down from the prior estimate of $294M. It should be clearly acknowledged that the salary cuts taken by the members of the BPSU, Bermuda Industrial Union, Bermuda Union of Teachers and the Bermuda Police Association made a meaningful contribution to managing the depth of the past year’s deficit. The BPSU is pleased that the austerity measures will not continue on after July 31, 2021.

“The reduction in the annual deficit proposed for the coming fiscal year 2021-22 to $125M from the prior $245M starts the journey to a balanced budget. The Union is pleased to see this while at the same time the cuts to civil service pay have been restored.

“Given the over 9% contraction of the economy in the past year, a projected 3.5% GDP uplift for the coming year seems reasonable. This growth allows the Government to forecast a modest increase in revenue of $50M to $1,048M without raising taxes on an already burdened population.

“The proposed increase in Current Account Expenditures of $17M to $897M implies prudent expense management and allows for Capital Expenditure of $65M for important investment in Government projects.

“It is very encouraging that the deficit in the proposed budget can be comfortably supported from resources in the Government’s Sinking Fund thereby eliminating the need to borrow any additional funds.

“Moreover, with a proposed return to a balanced budget in fiscal year 2023-24 and surpluses thereafter, the Government would not need to borrow additional money in future years. Under this plan, gross debt has peaked at the current level of $3.35B.

“Debt reduction could begin within three years which is critical for our country. If achieved, the country would likely avoid a downgrade of its sovereign debt which is essential for not only the cost of Government’s borrowing but also for the sustainability of the overall economy and the country’s international reputation.

“In closing, the BPSU recognises that the Minister of Finance’s pragmatic approach provides relief for the unemployed and aims for economic recovery as well as financial reforms.

“This is promising if ministries stick to their budgets and support the Ministers of Immigration and Tourism’s plan to allow companies, persons, and new tourism initiatives to come to our Island which would ultimately create job opportunities for Bermudians.”

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The Bermuda Public Services Union [BPSU] said the 2021/22 Budget ”strikes the appropriate balance” has a ”pragmatic approach provides relief for the unemployed and aims for economic recovery as well as financial reforms.”

    From the perspective of a person who is financially conservative, that is a frightening comment.

  2. Sandgrownan says:

    Shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. Economy shrinking. Declining population.

    Close to $5bn on the shoulders of our children.

    The PLP really do suck at this.

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