Column: Robinson On Rising Cost Of Living

July 7, 2023 | 8 Comments

Dwayne Robinson Bermuda generic 2023[Opinion column written by the OBA’s Dwayne Robinson]

Bermudians have been feeling the tightening squeeze of the rising cost of living. As a people we have always had to contend with high prices and so most Bermudians have worked out cost saving measures that help them maintain their standard of living.

However, we are witnessing those measures becoming less and less effective causing many to cut back on certain luxuries they enjoy, whether it’s their favourite smoothie or snack, or skipping their annual vacation.

Families have had to pool their resources to hold on to their mortgages, pay for college tuition, or to cover their rent and bills. Across the board many Bermudians have had to sacrifice in one way or another.

But while Bermudians are forced to adapt to these harsher times, our PLP Government does not seem to know how to. Instead, it continues to make the same mistakes as previous PLP administrations.

When facing a global economic downturn which is leading to another potential great recession, we find the Government refusing to curb its spending and continuing to forgo sinking fund contributions. Why is it that the average Bermudian can quickly grasp the concept of budgeting for hard times, yet those tasked to lead us through these tough times cannot? Have they learned nothing from the last crippling recession in 2008?

As usual, an election victory means more to a Progressive Labour Party Government than the longevity of our island. It blocked crucial immigration reform for Bermuda because it presented a political opportunity to seize the Government. Now it has boxed itself into a corner with its own rhetoric and the Burt Administration finds itself, six years later, only passing piece meal changes.

The very person who opposed immigration reform under the One Bermuda Alliance is now a Minister and spends unnecessary time trying to repackage it and present it with a different name.

$19.4 million in back pay for negotiated civil service raises and expansion of financial assistance offerings on the horizon, looks good on the front end. Expanding social protections and good pay for our civil servants is something many of us support. However, we must look at the reality of our current situation.

I do not oppose good wages for civil service. I oppose risking our future generations financial security and access to future opportunities. We cannot continue to reach into the pockets of our future generations to fund short sighted initiatives to secure election victories for the Progressive Labour Party.

Bermuda is short of 9,000 working class people with an ageing population bubble set to burst, tourism, our second pillar still struggling, and health insurance premiums are steadily on the rise. These decisions will come back to haunt us, if the PLP doesn’t start delivering on its economic pledges, most notably increasing the working population.

If not, all of this will lead to an increased burden on the Government. All those increased benefits and pay raises will be taken back through increased taxes/fees as there will not be enough of a workforce to sustain them.

The main factors that attract working age people to a destination are a solid education system, affordable healthcare, amenities/leisure activities, national security, and cost of living.

If we want Bermuda to be successful, the Premier and his Cabinet must produce a cross ministry plan on how we can reform these key areas.

This plan should support economic growth, instead of another economic document stating what we should be doing already. This isn’t just to entice more people into our workforce but for the financial survival of our society. Bermuda has come to a point where it needs a complete overhaul as our current model is outdated and not functioning on par with our competitors.

Bermuda has all the tools to be successful, it just needs an elected government who executes more than just effective election campaigns.

Every Budget that we fail to balance is more debt heaped on to those who come after us. It should be our top priority to work towards unshackling future Bermudians from this national debt.

- Dwayne Robinson is a former OBA Senator and is the adopted candidate for Constituency 30, Southampton East Central, and is currently a One Bermuda Alliance Co-Chair.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Some good ideas says:

    But the two political parties will not work together and there is no leadership from the plp to do so. So down the drain we go.

    • Vote says:

      So if you believe Cole is a good leader for the OBA!!!. Let’s just say the election is already a clean sweep !!!!

  2. watching says:

    And what will the OBA do to “right the ship”?

    • tucker says:

      Nothing! The oba is dead! Stop waiting for them to save you.

      • Former OBA supporter says:

        The oba can’t even save itself. You have a better survival rate of jumping out a plane without a parachute compared with them wining anymore elections.

        • tucker says:

          Unfortunately, when you jump out of that plane, you land in an alligator pit, known as the plp.

          In other words:
          Out of the frying pan and into the fire!

    • Hmmm says:

      The OBA pulled Bermuda from not being able to meet civil service payroll after the PLP departed to a place where we could, with improvements in the economy, a new airport, a huge benefit to Bermuda, and still far less of a cost that the PLP airport. pathways to status (PLP now realizes important) The Americas Cup, a hedge benefit to Bermuda with dollars coming into the country, international coverage and a buzz about Bermuda again ( not into sailing my self, but was fascinating). The OBA did an incredible job , despite the organized boo crowd and groups designed to destabilize, cause emotional uproar and divisiveness. They would have benefitted Bermudians more too if given the chance.

  3. LOL - the real one says:

    But electric buses will save money! Even when they are broken or not being used they save money.

    Now we have money for the RA to spend on consultants for a wind farm that will most like raise the price of electricity to the consumer by 50% or more. But the RA and the consultants are not going to say that. In fact, the consultants want $4 MILLION more for “derisking” the project by doing studies that a vendor will re-do.

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