Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said the Bermudian economy is in a state of stagnation at a press conference this afternoon following his presentation of the PLP's reply to the budget.
Speaking in Alaska Hall Court Street, Mr. Burt acknowledged that he could not give any assurances that tax concessions to the retail, hotel and restaurant industries could be phased out during the next two years without job or business losses. The concessions, said Mr. Burt, were never intended to be permanent and are unsustainable.
“What is clear is that these tax concessions cannot go on forever,” he said.
He added that in order for investors to have confidence in Bermuda they need to have assurances that both the PLP and OBA are on the same page when it comes to some key economic policies. He did not expound.
“One thing that I agree with the (finance) minister: the status quo is unacceptable,” he said.
When asked about whether the OBA’s proposed budget would trigger labour unrest on the island, Mr. Burt said “A lot of what we’ve seen from government is not honest brokering.”
He said the unions have already made sacrifices for Bermuda.
“The unions have shown their willingness to comprise, industry has shown less willingness to compromise and we need both people to come to the table,” he said.