PLP 'We've spent $670m... sorry we can't account for it'
Print article 3/24/2010 9:49:00 AM 'We've spent $670m... sorry we can't account for it'
In Bermuda's hour of need, Bermuda Sun columnist Larry Burch pens a spoof letter from the Government to the people on the frontlines - one probably inspired by the advice of a very highly paid American "consultant".
Dear (Bermudian) teacher, parks worker, bus driver, hotel worker, etc.
Times are hard and your Government, especially your Ministers, must keep up national appearances.
This is why we thought it best to propose a $50,000 a year pay increase for the Minister for Finance, so she could be paid $150,000 per year instead of the paltry $100,000 per year she was receiving - as a part-time Minister - all these years.
As your Government, we believe it is vitally important we frequently travel overseas and only ever stay in the best establishments.
We believe you understand and will uncomplainingly accept the high costs of our frequent overseas trips.
Since March 31, 2004, your Government has borrowed $670,299,038 in 'cash'.
On that date public debt was $119,500,962. It is now $989,800,000 - $789,800,000 in 'cash' and $200,000,000 in BNTB guarantees.
We have spent that $670,299,038. It is a lot of money and we cannot yet account for how we spent it all or what we spent it on. We are trying to figure that out.
Explaining so large an amount is something we have never done before. We hope you'll understand if we take a while to figure out what happened to all that cash. Or most of it. Or even half of it.
We have asked you to cut your working hours and not claim overtime.
We want you to take home smaller pay cheques because we do not want to go on overspending. Rather than ask just a few Ministers and others to take pay cuts or cut back on other things, we think it is in Bermuda's best national interest that all of you accept reductions in working hours and your take-home pay.
It is in Bermuda's best national interest that you, the many, should suffer for the mistakes and mismanagement of us, the few.
In 1940, a great Englishman said: "Never... was so much owed by so many to so few."
In 2010, a great Bermudian might say: "Never... was so much owed by so many because of so few."
We, your Government, ask that you make family and personal sacrifices, that you accept lower pay but still pay higher taxes and higher fees and generally accept fewer jobs but pay higher costs for all the things that you need.
Your Government asks you make these sacrifices so that in this time of Bermuda's economic need, we "the few" can go on living in the style to which, in the past four years, we have become accustomed.
Pity the workers
Pity the unionized hospitality worker. Two years of Union-agreed frozen wages but small relief from the just increased 5.75 per cent payroll tax.
However, coming fast is the April 1 slap-in-the-chops when Government's Standard Hospital Benefit premium rises by a government ordered 13 per cent.
A wage freeze two years in a row and two years in a row of health and social insurance increases is a triple whammy on unionized hospitality workers who are already among the lowest earners on Bermuda's wage-earning scale.
Stuck with steeply declining air arrivals because of long years of plans more talked about than successfully implemented, a Tourism Minister praising increases in cheap-end cruise arrivals, a working year getting shorter and shorter and a Bermuda hotel industry undergoing massive but subtle and invisible change, the poor hotel worker just has to suck it up even more than before.
Already hurting hospitality staff must now be bleeding when they see waste and overspending in Government when that same Government sticks them for higher and higher costs in taxes, insurances, licences and fees.
It is so wrong, especially with their Union and their Government so much on the same page.
If we lose the international business sector or if it is seriously diminished, it will set Bermuda back some 60-odd years when we had a high rate of unemployment and many people just could not get work.
Fortunately, then we had agriculture which has all but disappeared today.
Currency devaluation, property devaluation, increased unemployment leading to increased crime, just for starters.
We'll slowly plunge into 3rd world status, because our other pillar is DEAD.
"In 1940, a great Englishman said: 'Never... was so much owed by so many to so few.'
In 2010, a great Bermudian might say: 'Never... was so much owed by so many because of so few.'"
This is what happens when you know you'll get voted in time and time again.
No accountability, nothing. Don't like it?
Shut up, it's OUR time now.
Pimp dem dumb taxpayers
they couldn't care less,about the suffering slobs who voted their bourgeois fat asses into power in 1998