♦ The following statement was released this morning by One Bermuda Alliance MP Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, Shadow Minister of Health

Government’s pledge to give free health care to those aged over 90 raises a series of questions – not least whether it is financially sustainable in the long-term, according to Shadow Health Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin.

“We have just seen a report outlinin how Bermuda’s population is getting older, so I have to ask is such a programme sustainable? How will such a programme be funded given the growing population of seniors against the shrinking numbers of the younger population in the workforce? Will health care costs increase for younger people in order to fund this?

“Other important issues that Government must explain include whether it will be means tested or will the wealthy get the benefit as well and will the aggregate payout be capped? How does this fit in with the pension sustainability as recently articulated by the Government?

“While I appreciate that we must help our seniors in as many ways as we can, we cannot do so unless we are convinced that this is a financially stable and affordable plan. 

“The Trhone Speech is coming and I hope the Premier goes into detail about this proposal to allay concerns that this is just a return to the PLP modus operandi of expenditure of public funds to buy private votes.”