OBA: ‘Frequent Half-Steps Instead Of Reform’

February 2, 2023 | 5 Comments

“The OBA, like the public, is exhausted with the frequent half-steps this Government takes instead of comprehensive immigration reform,” Deputy Opposition Leader Jarion Richardson said.

Mr. Richardson said, “I look forward to the Government’s alternative to Pathways to Status, to address the demographics problem which continues to impoverish Bermudians. The OBA, like the public, is exhausted with the frequent half-steps this Government takes instead of comprehensive immigration reform.”

This follows after the Government announced plans to create a “Strategic Policy Paper on Expanding the Working Population of Bermuda,” with the Government having previously released the ‘Addressing the Challenge of an Ageing Population in Bermuda’ paper.

The paper noted, “It is predicted that Bermuda’s current working population will be unable to support the local economy in years to come.

“According to the Department of Statistics data, total filled jobs in 2008 was 40,213. More than 10 years later, and severely impacted by the pandemic job losses, total filled jobs in 2020 was 32,427. That is a loss of 7,786 persons or more than a 19% decline in the number of jobs filled since the peak.

Bermuda chart jobs 2008 to 2022

The paper also noted, “Unfortunately, the number of new births is too low to replace those retirees in the workforce. Available indicators show that Bermuda is rapidly facing a decline and aging of its population directly impacting the size of its labor force. An increase in GDP in this context is only possible through an increase in the productivity of the workforce or an increase in the working population.”

“Based on population projections, the increase in the working population required to realign Bermuda’s old age dependency ratio with the OECD average is estimated to be 8,418 individuals. The 8,418 represents a 25% increase in workers on the island, based upon a working population of 33,496 estimated in the most recent Labour Force Survey of November 2020.

“The Government will work to develop a strategy to increase the working population in Bermuda by at least 8,418 individuals over the next five years. This will equate to an average of 1,684 additional individuals per year [or a 5% annual increase] being added to the working population over the next 5 years,” the paper stated.

final Births-and-deaths-per-year-2000-to-2021-Bermuda-chart-bernews

“Bermuda’s challenge is clear,” the paper said, “The prospect of Bermuda’s declining and aging population in the coming years raises critical concerns about GDP, employment, health care, retirement benefits, and social support services. Bermuda is facing a demographic crisis that requires strong, decisive leadership and urgent action to be taken.”

The Government noted, “All are encouraged to make their submissions through the Bermuda Citizen’s Forum consultation page Addressing the Challenge of an Ageing Population in Bermuda. The consultation period will end on 1st March 2023.”

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Comments (5)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    There are at least 2 metrics not mentioned. One is where will an increase in population live? There is presently a severe lack of housing, but why if so many people have left? Secondly whilst the general working population has fallen, the number in the public sector has not. That puts an even greater strain on a reduced private sector. Government costs have to be reduced by at least the 15% decline in the working population.

    • sandgrownan says:

      It’s a good question. I think that a lot of capacity has been removed from the market as owners see more money / less bs in moving to an air bnb model.

      The Civil Service should be reduced by a third.

  2. Guy Carri says:

    So ironic that the party that put in term limits and drove thousands away bc of the boogeyman, is trying to lure them back….but has no idea how to do it. So much so that they have asked the public for their input. The same party who claimed the opposition was not “for Bermuda” when they announced we had to attract people to work on our shores.

    Gov has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. REDUCE YOUR SPENDING!!!!!! They are not being held accountable and they want bailouts. Sponsor a school?!! Sponsor a senior?!! There was even talk about sponsoring a roundabout!!!! Or a road so it isn’t a mess. What?!!!

  3. trufth says:

    Newsflash: people don’t want to come here anymore. To vacation OR to work. We have this notion that people are banging on our doors to move here and work. That may have been true in the past, but not any more. They are having to be bribed with massive salaries to come here and put up with our BS now days.

    Stop assuming that if we open our immigration doors that people will be queued up to get in. Not true at all. We need to get over ourselves.

  4. Joe Bloggs says:

    The only answer I can think of that is consistent with PLP policy is to tell young Bermudians once again to go fornicate in the bushes

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