Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson took time out to acknowledge “the hard work and dedication” of the late Anthony Manders as the Government’s Financial Secretary, who worked to produce the latest Fiscal Responsibility Panel 2020 Annual Report.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday (Jan 19) the Minister said the panel was established in 2015 “to increase transparency and international credibility” as “an international, independent committee to review, monitor, assess and publicly report on the fiscal progress of the Government”.

“In all of their previous reports, the Fiscal Responsibility Panel has warned of Bermuda’s vulnerability to a global economic downturn. With the onset of COVID-19, this risk materialised in a far more powerful form than the FRP or the Bermuda Government could have anticipated,” said the Minister.

“As I have said previously, this is an unprecedented crisis and not of our making. It has had profound impacts on Bermuda’s economy and our public finances. This Government’s immediate response to the crisis was swift and broadly appropriate, both concerning health-related and emergency economic measures in support of workers and businesses.”

While noting that the report “can be found on the Ministry of Finance section of the Bermuda Government portal and will be laid before the legislature when Parliament returns next month”, he also thanked “the entire team at the Ministry of Finance”.

“This has been a tough year. Everyone rose to the challenge as we make every effort to get our economy back on track. Thank you all for your support,” said Mr Dickinson.

“I especially want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our beloved Financial Secretary, Anthony Manders, who recently passed away. He was a dedicated colleague, a gentleman, a true family man, and integral to the process that, every year, goes into putting together the Government’s Annual Budget.

“As he was my most senior trusted adviser over the past two years, I am grateful for the support he gave me and his hard work and dedication to the Government and people of Bermuda.”