WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14: The OBA plans to reduce the cost of living.

On the surface, it sounds great. I could do with a few more shillings in my pocket.

But what exactly contributes to the costs of living here in 441ville? Food, housing, fuel, clothing, electricity, medication, doctors’ fees, childcare and consumer items.

MarketPlace, Butterfield  & Vallis, Lindo’s, Arnolds. This is the ‘food cartel’ in Bermuda. They dictate how much a box of chicken costs and how much for those vegetables.

“Wholesaler Jim Butterfield had declared a price freeze next to impossible as costs are driven up by factors beyond his control, while Royal Gazette Editor Bill Zuill wrote in an opinion piece that such a move would be immensely complex and difficult to police.” — RG July 20, 2011
Fuel; every vehicle uses it BMW, Hoopdie or Scoopy. Imported by Rubis or Esso. Yes, government has been levying an import duty on fuel since “hector was a pup”. But government does not dictate the open market price of a barrel of oil.

Prior to the Internet, most people shopped on Reid Street for clothes. Trimingham’s , Smith’s, Boyles, Woman’s Shop were the main suppliers of what rested on our backs, butts and feet.

Now many persons simply bring in their own clothes, as the selection and prices offered via the Internet is incomparable. If you do choose to ‘Buy Bermuda’, you will pay a premium. Yes — duty is attached to the import of clothes.

Electricity; ah, the OBA say they will bring in CHP technology to cut down on the costs of producing electricity. Oh, okay. Did they inform Belco that they will be taking possession of their poles and underground cables in order to deliver this electricity? Did they tell any of the 300-plus Bermudian employees that they may cut them out of a job?

Electricity cost are what they are due to the cost of fuel on the open market. Fuel goes up, electricity goes up. Ask the OBA exactly who is going to benefit from this CHP plant?

On August 1, 2012, upfront payments for healthcare were ended by the PLP government. Hence, it means that you, the common person of Bermuda, are no longer forced to find money upfront in order to pay for your visits to the doctor. Health Minister Zane De Silva slew that dragon.

This is what his OBA counterpart MP Louise Jackson had to say: “She argued that the legislation would lead healthcare providers to quietly turn away patients based on their insurance, and that lost income could lead to medical professionals leaving the island.” — RG March 20, 2012.

So, the OBA states that doctors may turn patients away or leave Bermuda if they cannot get money up front. Jingas!

PLP government now covers generic prescriptions 100% and brand name prescriptions 80%.

The PLP government introduced childcare provisions in 2007. Any household earning less than a total of $55,000 per annum, qualifies for childcare assistance of $700 per month.

So again, let us examine the facts.

PLP provides childcare assistance, 100% coverage for prescriptions, FutureCare for $600 per month and affordable housing.

Now ask yourselves, will the OBA get their buddies, who control food, fuel and clothing, to lower their profit margins? This is what makes the cost of Living in 441ville high.

Dang we can’t even afford that Kool-Aid no more. Tang is the lick now.