WEDNESDAY, NOV. 28: Last week I watched as my cousin Nandi Davis spoke from a prepared speech on the topic of debt.

It had some emotional tinges about her son and his future.

When posed with the first question she froze, smiled, and instinctively turned to Bob Richards to answer the question.

Today, Nandi, let me “school” you on what this debt has provided for us:

• Heritage Wharf;

• Perimeter Lane housing;

• HarbourView housing;

• Southside housing;

• Butterfield Lane housing;

• Anchorage View housing;

• Loughlands housing;

• Berkeley Institute;

• Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building;

• Dr Eustace Cann seniors housing;

• Sylvia Richardson seniors housing;

• New TCD;

• Fast ferries;

• New bus fleet;

• Improved police and fire equipment;

• Child & Family Services;

• Mirrors Programme;

• Day care allowance;

• Reverse Osmosis plant water;

• Resurfacing the airport runway;

• Foreshore protection  at airport;

• Port Royal — hosting the PGA Grand Slam of Golf;

• Lamb Foggo Clinic;

• Recycling Centre;

• Quarry;

• Refurbished Tynes Bay Waste Facility – producing more energy

• New Bus Terminal.

 

Nandi, let me ask you this: whenever a big building goes up in town, do you think that was paid for in cash up front? Or did they borrow the money and go into debt?

When OBA supporters start a business don’t they borrow the money and go into debt? When you buy a car or house, don’t you borrow the money and go into debt?

History lesson

 So what is different now? Because the PLP did it, it is bad?

Here is a history lesson for you, from when the UBP was in power:

• Airport budgeted at $9m, actual cost $25m — a 178% overrun;

• Westgate budgeted at $20m, actual costs $39m — a  94% overrun;

• Tyne’s Bay budgeted at $26m, actual cost $73m — a 183% overrun.

 

Did they complain about the debt then? Every one of those projects were built by companies owned by UBP MPs. So who got the extra money then?

So let’s take away everything the PLP has built or put in place for the last 14 years.

All the infrastructure, the social services — and trim the civil service, like your mentor Mike Dunkley wanted to do.

Mr Dunkley explained that the civil service had grown by thousands of people over the years and that trimming the civil service would help them meet their pledges — RG Dec. 11, 2007

Let’s take all that away and put the money in Capital G to earn .5% interest. That should make some folks very happy.

Does the OBA care?

Nandi — does the OBA care about 400+ Bermudian families not being able to afford to buy their own homes?

Does the OBA care about 4,000 seniors getting free medication?

Would the OBA care about 6,000+ fellow Bermudian civil servants looking for a job?

Or is it better to have money in the bank and then to spend on the working class people ?

Nandi, make no mistake; the PLP has been criticized for one main reason — overly helping out our fellow Bermudians whom the UBP neglected.

If the UBP had cared about poor folks pre ‘98, we wouldn’t have had to spend a dime building anything. But no, they neglected the underclass.

Cousin, many of your new friends would never have been without a house of their own, or lacking the ability to afford child care or medical insurance.

So yes, for them, they will be upset when tax dollars pay for what others never had.

No one is perfect and nothing is done perfectly. However, I personally offer zero apology for supporting a government that has developed the downtrodden people and infrastructure of this island.

Did they tell you part of the debt is because the PLP gave tax breaks to retailers and hotel?

Did they tell you part of the debt is because the PLP no longer charges “death tax” of 33%?

Nandi, your friends in the OBA like to make great noise about people being worse off than 1998. Pure Igrance.

My father has FutureCare, my godchildren now have affordable housing, health care has improved and most of all, your grandparents can hold their heads high.

The next time they put a script in front of you, “holla at me” so I can give you some facts when the media asks you questions.

By the way, those courses you took at Bermuda College are part of the debt, also.

Nandi, for us it is Morality over Money. The UBP/OBA says Debt .We say Development. Still love you much, Cuz.

• Christopher Famous is a graduate of The Berkeley Institute and Bermuda College. He is a self-described “blue collar worker, keen social observer and proud PLP supporter”. E-mail him: Carib_pro@yahoo.com