The following statement was released by Shadow Minister of Finance, Senator Doug De Couto – One Bermuda Alliance…

Yesterday, the Government was not able to pass its budget at the end of the Budget debate in Parliament, unheard of in Bermuda’s modern history. This is because the Government failed to bring the required Appropriation Act to Parliament in time for the end of the debate, as has always been done. 

In addition, the Government also failed to bring the Supplemental Estimates to the House prior to the end of the debate. These Estimates are customarily supplied one or two sessions prior to the end of the Budget debate, in order to approve prior unbudgeted spending. 

The absence of the Appropriation Act at the conclusion of yesterday’s Parliamentary session demonstrates that once again, this Government has dropped the ball.  The public need a clear explanation of why this happened as opposed to being given a thinly veiled excuse of ‘technical issues’. 

The process to pass the Budget is clear and been followed without issue for years. What happened this year? 

The Government will claim the Opposition was “consulted” – which means we were informed of the Government’s failure at the end of the debate session, but no explanation was given when asked for. As most Bermudians know, this Government likes to claim you were “consulted” when they tell you what’s already happened. 

Has the Premier and Finance Minister, and his fellow Ministers, been too busy travelling around the world to pay attention to their ministries? Have the people in charge of drafting these papers been sent off on pet projects for ministers, instead of preparing the papers required for passing the Budget? 

Once again, the Premier and Finance Minister seems to be asleep at the wheel or missing in action – you pick. 

Another example of how 30-6 is not working for Bermuda.