Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister of Finance Cole Simons says the Government’s gross receivables “are actually three times the initial estimate of $100 million dollars”.
In a statement released on Friday (March 12), he said he was only made aware of the of the island’s financial status through his Parliamentary Questions in the House of Assembly.
“With the latest statistics being just released, we now understand that from 2018 to 2020, for each year, Bermuda’s gross receivables hovered around $333 million dollars, with an average annual provisional reserve allowance of $141.25 million dollars (which is an allowance for doubtful amounts).
“The result is that government believes it will only actually be able collect approximately $200 million dollars,” said Mr Simons.
“The problem is so chronic, that the Minister of Finance has had to engage the audit firm PWC and another firm to manage the recovery process.
“Government has failed to tackle its receivables in an expeditious manner, which has had a dramatic impact on the level of debt that the country carries today.
“By not collecting these funds, the government cannot address or deliver the services that the people of Bermuda voted to receive; such as the development of infrastructure projects like school and road repairs or issues associated with healthcare, pensions, youth programmes and many other social initiatives.
“It is obvious that the Minister also believes that this is unsustainable, as it negatively impacts the unabated level of debt that the country currently enjoys.
“Given this glidepath, the government will have no choice but go back to the banks and capital markets to finance its debt.“