Column: Tessitore On Borrowing, Debt & More

March 28, 2024 | 17 Comments

Sophia Tessitore Bermuda July 31 2023[Opinion column written by OBA candidate Sophia Tessitore]

“What better way could we service future generations in this country than unshackling them from debt?” – OBA Senator Dwayne Robinson on the Government Loans Amendment Act 2024.

Echoing the statements of my colleagues in the House of Assembly and the Senate, I would like to share my disappointment and frustration with the Government’s recent legislation allowing monies from the Sinking Fund to be transferred and used for any purpose.

This decision is irresponsible and will only harm future generations, as the repayment of our debt should be one of our top priorities and is, in my opinion, essential to creating a prosperous and stable financial future for Bermuda.

Our debt is at an all time high at $3.3 billion, or roughly $51k per Bermudian. Instead of taking proactive measures to reduce this, the government is instead claiming the balanced budget as reasoning to take more and more from the public purse, while cloaking it as a benefit for Bermudians – particularly our most vulnerable. It is important to note that this most recent legislation is being disguised as a “cost-of-living” bill despite no wording in the legislation mandating that funds taken from the Sinking Fund be put towards these cost of living initiatives such as affordable housing. Instead, this legislation is allowing the Minister of Finance – currently, Premier David Burt – to take and use the “excess” funds as they see fit, instead of putting it towards our debt as it is intended for. Now, previously protected funds can be redirected towards shortfalls to avoid further borrowing and to continue to prop up the claim of a balanced budget.

Let the record show that the One Bermuda Alliance has supported various measures to make life easier for Bermudians, especially post-COVID where the economy has taken a sharp downturn. We are not dismissing this bill because we don’t want Bermudians to have access to affordable housing or lower healthcare premiums. Rather, we recognise the need to preserve resources to benefit Bermuda’s future generations and work aggressively to reduce the debt which is a huge burden on all of Bermuda. By not codifying these measures and the exact direction of funds that will be taken from the Sinking Fund, it raises many questions about the true intentions of this amendment.

As a young Bermudian, I am incredibly concerned with how the PLP Administration has been handling our tax payer’s dollars. Along with their previous measures which included rejecting the One Bermuda Alliance’s amendment to the Corporate Income Tax bill that would have ensured a portion of tax revenue set aside for our Sinking Fund and Infrastructure Fund, this government has proven time and time again that they would rather make empty promises to the public than actually do the work to create the prosperous island that they have been campaigning for. These measures would have put Bermuda in a much stronger financial position, benefiting future generations and allowing us to inherit a Bermuda that would be significantly less burdened by our national debt. Instead, members of the government would rather launch personal attacks against my colleagues than accept our work to protect Bermudians.

It is not arrogant to ask for the public’s money to be responsibly handled. It is not insulting or a dog whistle to demand that every Bermudians’ taxpayer dollars are handled in a way that is beneficial to our current reality and future generations. It is not okay to continually lie to and deceive the public with promises that are not fulfilled or answered within our legislation, but instead left up to temporary politicians to make permanent decisions with our limited dollars.

I implore the younger generation and my peers to pay attention to this issue. While the topic of the Budget, the Sinking Fund, National Debt etc. may be complicated and intimidating, it is essential for us to understand how these decisions will impact us going forward. As the youngest active politician in Bermuda and a representative of the One Bermuda Alliance, it is incredibly important to me that I advocate for issues affecting our island and especially our youth. This is absolutely one of them and I will continue to lobby the government to do better.

- Sophia Tessitore, OBA adopted candidate for Constituency 21, Pembroke South East

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Comments (17)

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  1. watching says:

    When a government is elected, they are given the responsibility, for better or worse, to spend the funds as they deem necessary. The OBA and the PLP have two different philosophies; the OBA during its governance, spent little on developing and promoting social programs, built no affordable housing, reduced education/scholarship funding etc. The PLP, conversely has invested and increased funding to all of the above. I would ask Ms. Tessitore what exactly she would prefer these funds be put towards. Yet again, an OBA candidate puts out criticisms but fails to articulate their actual position. This has become a recurring trend. They throw things out to see what sticks, but fail to generate or speak to any real “solutions”.
    She speaks of the monies being responsibly handled. Where have they not been responsibly handled? Just because she or the OBA may not agree with things doesn’t mean they haven’t been responsibly handled. Making different decisions is not evidence of irresponsibility.

    • What! says:


      The OBA took over government that had spent all the money and in order to make payroll for the civil service, the OBA had to borrow. the OBA had to clean up the PLP DISASTER and SAVE BERMUDA. To do this there had to be tough decisions, economic stimulus and action. The OBA succeeded on SAVING BERMUDA only for the PLP to take power following orchestrated propaganda groups that were given the sole task of disruption, destroy and divide.

      Unfortunately when there is no money, you can’s spend money unless you are the PLP, who just pretended there would be a budget surplus so they could justify raping the sinking fund and Bermudian futures. The sinking fund is not to use for everyday spending, but to accrue and pay off the huge debt burden which is costing us every year. The PLP decided to stop paying into the Sinking fund after the PLP overheated the economy with their borrow and spend on non-revenue generating projects philosophy, now they are trying to clean out the sinking fund. Guess who has to pay the debt when the government has no form of revenue apart from taxes and fees…..Bermudian TAXPAYERS. The current PLP are worse than termites in your roof. We need a PLP that works to serve the people and not works to maintain power. Maintaining Power as a directive destroys Bermuda. I don’t care who is in power, if they are managing the country properly. This version of the PLP is an EPIC FAIL.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        “The OBA took over government that had spent all the money and in order to make payroll for the civil service …”

        According to Bob Richards, the Bermuda Government had to borrow money to pay interest on its debt. Debt was spiraling out of control.

    • Question says:

      So far the PLP has wasted $100m + on Grand Atlantic with still nobody living there, 13 years after it was built. So don’t lecture us about the PLP and ‘affordable housing’.
      We know their main priority is to line their own pockets.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      ~She speaks of the monies being responsibly handled. Where have they not been responsibly handled? Just because she or the OBA may not agree with things doesn’t mean they haven’t been responsibly handled. ~

      The Auditor General doesn’t agree with you either . At all !

  2. Not ok says:

    Ms. Tessitore I was actually going to vote for you, but since one of your new colleagues publicly explained that a black civil service is bad for Bermuda and the OBA Leader has yet to disprove that person’s words. Lets just say that man should’ve kept the black card out of the equation. Words like that sway any potential voters away and I’m not the only one who’s thinking this way. Good luck and hopefully you can remove people in your party that continue to keep us divided.

    • Claudia Stone says:

      Mr. King observed that the government of the day and the civil service are of the same race and ethnicity ( the majority) as the vulnerable and underserved in this community. He did not state that a black civil service was bad. He said that the government and the service is failing black Bermudans.

      • Youth says:

        He sounded like a races. He dislikes a black civil service and black government. He should’ve never brought up a groups skin tone. This is why we have 2 Bermudas.

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          “He should’ve never brought up a groups skin tone”

          And there we have it. Never mention race or racial makeup in Bermuda.

        • Truth says:

          The plp bring up race, every chance they get. Why is that?

        • Claudia Stone says:

          Mr. King never stated that he dislikes the government or the civil service. This is your interpretation.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        Thank you, Ms Stone. It is good to see I am not the only one seeking to speak truth to the lies of others.

    • Truth says:

      Bermuda thrives of racism.
      The government uses is every day to keep their power.

      What are you complaining about? You were never going to vote for the white party at any time.

      • WAIT FOR IT! says:

        ..and the Opposition uses black faces in the white party to secure votes.

        • Truth says:

          …and the PLP uses white surrogates to secure votes.

          Were you trying to make a point, or show us that you’re just a racist?

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