OBA Calls For TA Contract To Be Released

September 16, 2022 | 27 Comments

“The Opposition has been calling for the Travel Authorization contract to be released with transparency,” Shadow Transport Minister Susan Jackson said, adding that the island is ”continuing to collect Travel Authorisation fees for the benefit of private enterprise while the taxpayer stands to lose millions in government tax revenue.”

Shadow Transport Minister Susan Jackson

Ms Jackson said, “The Bermuda Government, along with the Ministry of Transport and the Bermuda Tourism Authority are blatantly ignoring their collective responsibility to the people of Bermuda by continuing to collect Travel Authorisation fees for the benefit of private enterprise while the taxpayer stands to lose millions in government tax revenue.

“Five confirmed cruise ship cancellations during our lean shoulder months of October and November represents millions of uncollected revenue from Passenger taxes, Tourism Fees, Transport Infrastructure taxes and millions more in passenger and crew spending.

“Taxi and mini bus drivers, small businesses and every other local service loses out on thousands of visitors to satisfy Premier Burt’s unwavering commitment to generate private revenue from the Travel Authorisation fees. This irrational reasoning leaves the public wondering with greater concern who is exactly benefitting from the Travel Authorisation revenue?

“The Opposition has been calling for the Travel Authorization contract to be released with transparency. There is no reason why this information hasn’t been shared to date.

“Unfortunately, ResQwest and silent partners continue to earn profits through air and sea travellers while the public continues to lose millions of dollars so desperately needed in these tough economic times.

“If the country is unable to put a stop to this blatant cash grab, we can expect more to come as these private shareholders continue to gain confidence and introduce additional ‘services’ in transport and other government revenue generating services. We can expect public services to deteriorate, public services to be further reduced and much less money being distributed to struggling citizens while a few in government circles make all the financial gains.

“This is a PLP government following historical practices they so strongly oppose yet cannot resist continuing in their own name for financial gain. This Travel Authorisation money grab and any future contracts has got to be stopped before the people of Bermuda find themselves on their knees.”

Minister of Transport Lawrence Scott

Minister of Transport Lawrence Scott said, “Traditionally, Bermuda enjoys a robust cruise ship season between 170 to 180 calls per year. In recent years, cruise lines have been deploying their ships year-round, and certainly, we are seeing more calls in November, and early December. But, it’s not uncommon to lose up to 10 calls a season for various reasons. Nor is it uncommon to add calls. The cruise ship schedule has always been fluid.

“Earlier this year 180 cruise ship calls were scheduled in 2022, and with the adding and cancelling of calls, Bermuda is currently at 175 calls projected as of September 15.

“So, putting this all in perspective, this is an average year for ship calls. Regarding the recent cancellations, the cruise lines have relayed to us that us that testing onboard the ships has had an impact on their operations and their guests’ experience.

“But it should be pointed out that some of the cruise calls missed this season have been agreed between Bermuda and our cruise partners owing to the high number of positive cases identified as a result of this testing requirement.”

“And the Ministry of Health added that from a testing perspective, longer cruises and transatlantic cruises have always required additional testing.

Minister of Health Kim Wilson

Minister of Health Kim Wilson added, “If cruises take more than four days to arrive to Bermuda, passengers wishing to get off the ship in Bermuda must take another supervised COVID-19 test on board, no more than two days before arrival to Bermuda. Unvaccinated passengers may use this test to get off the ship in Bermuda. This requirement is not new, and cruise lines have been aware of it for some time.

“Cruise ships have a significantly dense residential setting, quite different from airplanes. There is a greater risk of infection because the virus spreads easily between people in close quarters aboard ships. On a cruise ship, it is hard to avoid the three Cs – closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings. These precautions allow everyone to ‘know their status’ as, unfortunately, the coronavirus is still with us.”

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Comments (27)

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  1. watching says:

    Releasing the contract is a veiled attempt from Ms. Jackson to accuse the government of corruption, which is the usual MO from the OBA/UBP playbook.

    • Hey says:

      It is public money, I don’t see any issue with it being released. This is a matter of national importance. Too many secrets with the PLP. They are costing our economy, the government coffers and those that depend on tourist spending their livelihoods. Release the contract if nothing to hide.

    • Burtcoin says:

      Only a green leprechaun bigot would defend such arrogance. They are just wrong. For the record. I’m a black Bermudian that is sick of my countries lack of leadership! We need another party to vote for cause both options are terrible!

      • iyiyi says:

        Totally agree with that ….. both options are terrible although there is some good in both parties . Something needs to happen very soon however it seems we are at a point of no return at this time due to pitiful leadership .
        ” Watching ” you are clearly a person that is stuck in reverse and a typical PLP supporter that has no clue but moves with the crowd only !

        • sandgrownan says:

          Stop with the “both sides are bad” bullsh*t. This is PLP mess, this is on them, entirely. All of it. They own this.

          Bermuda is f#$*ed because of the PLP. Not the OBA, not the UBP before them. Not dirty expats. Not the Tories in the UK, not The Queen. Not Joe Biden or even the Orange Menace.

          None of them. Bermuda is where it is because of the PLP. Plain and simple. Bigoted, racist, homophobic incompetents.

          • Robino says:

            I Love the Trump reference!!

          • iyiyi says:

            You missed the point , yes i agree the PLP screwed us royally and put us in this position .
            The point is no matter how bad they are screwing us the OBA party as is will never get any votes from the majority of the PLP supporters .As “Burtcoin” says we need a new party … that’s the only way to get some sort of balance in the house . Just my opinion

            • Sandgrownan says:

              That’s not the OBA’s fault. Anyone looking objectively knows they would be better for Bermuda.

              This is on the electorate.

            • saud says:

              The OBA won’t win, because the majority of True, Born Bermudians are Racist, homophobic and xenophobic AF! LMFAO

          • LOL - the real one says:

            Perhaps you should explain why you are so angry all the time. That might help people better understand your colourful commentary.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      The UBP has not existed for over 20 years, but keep up the big lie. Never give up on the big lie!

      • Ringmaster says:

        The TA non tendered contract is probably the latest that started with the non tendered Global Hue contract. There must be a reason that both have remained secret, despite being in breach of Government Regulations regarding the requirement for such amounts to be publicly tendered. Where is the Auditor General, or the PAC?

      • X oba voter says:

        The oba is the UBP. How do you explain why the majority of white voters left a party to form another party over night? If this is not true did you all leave a party to run from it’s racist past just to rebrand into the same, under a different flag aka OBA? Hold all answers, because all of the above are true! It’s little hope for this party to ever win again and this is coming from someone that actually supported you with a red T shirt hoping to bridge the gap between us as a people, that was until I saw the truth from within. I would never have voted PLP, but thanks to OBA supporters calling PLP supporters muppets, you get a 30 -6 ever election now.

        • Sandgrownan says:

          That’s bullsh*t. So, if I’m nice to PLP supporters they will vote OBA??? Think about it. That’s complete and utter nonsense.

          This is on PLP voters. It’s their fault. They have voted for incompetence, failure, bigotry and homophobia. They support the PLP.

          Hope you are happy.

        • saud says:

          ” I would never have voted PLP, but thanks to OBA supporters calling PLP supporters muppets…”

          You voted based on what other people told you to do? That’s not how it’s supposed to work, maybe that’s why Bermuda is so brok(en).

        • iyiyi says:

          The sad part about your statement is that Bermuda will continue to go downhill with the current leadership .

    • sandgrownan says:

      And the problem with that is?

      Release it and let’s find out.

    • Question says:

      Release the contract then and the names of every individual who benefits financially, including the investors in the software company. Prove there is no ‘issues’
      Won’t happen though, will it. For some reason.

  2. sandgrownan says:

    Scoot and Wilson defiant. Go figure. What a pair of muppets.

    • Question says:

      She’s still pretending there’s a health reason for it. Either she must be in on it, or she’s as thick as sh 1t.

  3. Burtcoin says:

    Wilson, Scott. Please stop sidestepping the question with your rediculous political answers. Really?? The arrogance is really starting to smell like a dead body ! We know what your doing even if you refuse to answer the question. The confidence is long lose in your ability to be transparent with the people who voted for you . Yes don’t forget we voted you in now you just take it upon yourself to do whatever you want. Unfortunately in the Westminster system we have to put up with your sh$t ! Well arent you lucky

  4. Ringmaster says:

    The real test will be when the Government runs out of money and there is no more that can be borrowed. The PLP have already realized the negative financial impact of the reducing resident working population, yet Scott and Wilson think it’s good to prevent visitors coming here and spending money, aided and abetted by the other 28 PLP MPs.

  5. Just be thinking says:

    As a fully vaccinated Bermudian, living abroad, My family & I will not be returning there until your regulations catch up to the modern world. I have many friends (all vaccinated) who would like to go to Bermuda to see the things I have told them about, but won’t because of the $40 fee and Covid testing requirements.
    The area we live in is getting harder and harder to get tested and we get free tests either sent to us or free with our prescriptions. Plus the ones we can find are costly.

    • Marine Life says:

      Good posting, Just be thinking,
      Because if this sorry, looser government wants to keep this $40 TA in force with these requirements, Then I refuse to travel overseas and back until after this Stupidity is ENDED! The Government will not get any of my or my family members’ money for their willful and abhorrent policies. I am Bermudian to, and I DO NOT APPROVE of this GOVERNMENT at all! They are not handling my business.( The People’s Business)
      My personal business is really suffering at the hands of this CROP of politicians. Everything gone wrong is on their watch and on their heads. ALL of it! People must remember the old saying, ‘The bread you cast out, is the bread that returns……. The quality of life has seriously soured in Bermuda over the last number of years. It is embarrassing. I haven’t heard that pretty song about Bermudians in an awful long time. I suspect that a lot of people have negative feelings about their leaders and the challenges facing Bermuda now worse than ever. The leaders leave a lot to be desired. Besides, there are many other Islands in the world with beauty and welcoming hands. Signed, Keep your miserable $40 + TA + SUGAR TAX!

    • Marine Life says:

      Good Post, Just be thinking,
      My family and I will not be traveling to and from the Island until this TA and fee is done away with. After it is gone, we as Bermudians will travel. Don’t need anymore stress or money given away while traveling. Very expensive for families to travel. Easy to get into U.S. Not easy getting into Bermuda.Go Figure!

  6. Squid says:

    Even with cruise ships here , there is no ferry to get them to St. George’s.
    Bring back Dr Brown at least he fought for St. george’s and built them a
    bow loading ferry dock which they could be using now , but what did they do with it ,they destroyed it ????????????

  7. sandgrownan says:

    Who has watched the youtube channel…”Cruise Radio”….?

    They refer to the TA and attendant $40 as “The Bermuda Scam”…..it’s out there…

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