Premier Burt Addresses Opposition’s Claims

May 19, 2024 | 0 Comments

“An Opposition desperate for relevance, but once again wrong on the facts,” said Premier and Minister of Finance, David Burt.

“Last week, the Opposition said there was no schedule for the House of Assembly, and they were wrong. This week, they are claiming $45 million of additional spending, and they are wrong again.

“The facts are that total expenditures for April 2022 – March 2023 were only $5.1 million more than budgeted, a difference of 0.5%.

“This additional spending was achieved despite $15 million of unexpected COVID-related expenses and $15 million of additional funding to support the hospital.”

The Premier continued, “Bermudians may ask, why was the Government only $5 million over budget, with all the extra funding needed to support business and our healthcare sector during a public health crisis? The answer is simple – we were able to make savings in other places. Despite additional spending in some areas, we made significant savings in other areas.

“What the Opposition will not say is that the Budget Deficit for Fiscal Year 22/23 was $35 million, or 50% lower than budgeted, meaning that in 22/23, Government finances were in far better shape than expected. This budget performance is the reason why we were able to keep government-mandated health insurance premiums frozen for the 3rd year in a row, saving every policyholder in Bermuda $540 this year.

“This misleading statement from the Opposition fits a desperate pattern where they’re seeking to mislead Bermudians, as they are worried that voters realise and understand that this Government has been able to steer the country through a Pandemic followed by a 40-year high global inflation while beating budget expectations. This is in stark contrast to the Opposition’s record of over $250 million taxpayer dollars lost to the failed Morgan’s Point guarantee and the no-bid privatisation of Bermuda’s Airport.

“Instead of listening to the continued misleading claims from the Opposition, residents can take heart that there are reputable global bodies, with no political affiliation, who have analysed Bermuda’s economic performance and have come to their own conclusions. The most recent example is S&P, who affirmed Bermuda’s A+ rating last week and said, ‘We believe continued growth will support a balanced budget in line with the government’s expectations this year.’

Premier Burt concluded, “Bermudians should not be misled by the Opposition, who have zero credibility on financial matters, and should take comfort that Government finances are improving as this Government delivers Bermuda’s first balanced budget in 21 years.”

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