- The following statement was released by One Bermuda Alliance MP, Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, Shadow Minister of Finance…
Government missed its revenue targets, it overspent, failed in its promise to produce a budget surplus and is now projecting a budget deficit.
They boasted loudly about a projected $7m surplus but somehow oversaw a $14m deficit,” said Shadow Finance Minister Pat Gordon-Pamplin. “In addition, Government is now forecasting an almost $20m deficit this year, further adding to our unsustainable debt.
They are planning to increase capital expenditure by $20m. The OBA has no problem on spending on capital projects, but we do not think the money should be borrowed unless there are returns that justify the borrowing.
Instead of reining in capital spending to help balance the budget, they actually overspent. There are also line items such as a $20m increase in professional services. There were opportunities to balance the budget, but they were ignored.
The Minister accused the OBA over falsehoods regarding an increase in the number of civil servants, but it has increased, and the figures show it.
In 2016/17, the actual number of Government employees was 4,707, 2017/18 it was 4,764, for 2018/19 the number is 4,806, for 2019/20 it is 4,942 and for 2020/21 they are forecasting 5,076 employees.
Overall, there were few solutions to resuscitate our ailing economy, nothing was mentioned to help retail The Minister blames retail for being antiquated and tells them to modernise but Government itself has not modernised and simply hires more people to try and solve problems.
People are becoming angry, people wanted to hear a budget that gave them hope, that would stimulate the economy and create jobs.
All this budget shows they have no idea how to stimulate the economy and improve the lives of Bermudians.