The following Op-Ed was submitted in December 2022, by lawyer Larry Scott in response to proposed plans to boost Bermuda’s economy so far, by the Minister for the Economy and Labour, Jason Hayward, or the lack thereof

When is the Minister of the Economy and Labour, Jason Hayward, going to come with a stimulus plan?

We can’t keep paying out. We have got to get the island back to work! Plus, the minimum wage is going to have a similar effect no matter how compassionate this plan sounds.

Then of course there is the elephant in the room.

As a student of professor economist Craig Simmons, the Minister must make him scratch his head and ask were they listening during lectures.

Simmons explained it so well on the Morning Hour.

We are looking into the abyss.

I don’t want to be unkind to Minister Hayward, but he has got it wrong for these times.

I repeat, there must be an economic stimulus plan that puts people back to work as a first priority.

The trust and companies that own the CoH real estate don’t run businesses – they lease their properties to small enterprises in the form of boutiques with three to four employees, they will die on the vine like many others trying to pay the minimum wage.

The property owners will not be hurt in the least because their real rents come from IB tenants and their service providers. Their employees are paid well over the minimum wage.

It is Jamila Lodge’s Mind Your Business clients who are going to be hurt the most.

The Government knew the minimum wage program is a philosophical plan not an economic plan, and has no relationship in reality.

This is what Curtis Dickinson meant when he said we must understand the Bermudian economic model and what makes it work.

Even though it is small business that is the engine of the economy, you can’t make doing business for them so prohibitive that they fail.

Plus, let’s be clear, as well as major unions in this country are not affected either negatively or positively by the policy, because they are employed by major employers who have long paid higher than the minimum wage.

There are privileges in membership of a union.

So, what must we tackle first in Bermuda?

It is the elephant in the room – Immigration to enable major employers to hire and pay wages commensurate with the Bermuda model, plus payroll tax and other benefits that bring revenue to the consolidated fund.

What follows and flows from this is money to pay the debt and provide services that government must provide to keep credibility internationally.

The Government’s good intentions are simply misguided because it is based on a party platform of yesteryear, back in the 60s and we are in 2022/23.

And the global economy has changed – the mechanism needed to drive it has changed as well.