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Economic Relief? A statement from the Hon N.H. Cole Simons JP MP, Opposition Leader & Shadow Minister for Finance

By September 13, 2022September 14th, 2022No Comments

It is now mid-September, and on July 15th, 2022, the Premier made a statement to the House of Assembly regarding an economic Relief Package to ease the burden on Bermuda’s working families. In that statement he approved $15 million dollars for payroll tax rebates, school supply support, an increase in the food allowance budget for the Department of Financial Assistance and LED light bulbs, that these initiatives would be in place now and that the funds would come from the positive variance of the Bermuda budget and its performance to date. These are common measures as countries such as the U.K. and the U.S. are also making similar allocations.

What is troubling is that they appear to be one-off concessions, which are not sustainable. They are very, very, temporary measures.

What will happen after the $15million dollars has been spent? How will these families maintain themselves as they will be in the same situation? Are they to expect additional support, and if so, from what source? The Premier and Finance Minister is also not addressing Bermuda’s national debt which continues to spiral out of control and Bermuda’s economy that is not close to being robust. Where is this Government’s long-term plan to get us back on the road to recovery as we expect the country to be in this economic malaise for the next year to 18 months, at the very least?

The One Bermuda Alliance takes the view that if the national debt is reduced, those reduced debt servicing costs can be applied to provide long-term sustainable support programmes for the hard-working men and women of this country.

We all look forward to receiving the Government’s long overdue plan to manage the reduction of our debt moving forward.