All eyes on Cox: The Premier will give her Budget Statement today in the House of Assembly. <em>*File photo</em>
All eyes on Cox: The Premier will give her Budget Statement today in the House of Assembly. *File photo

FRIDAY, FEB. 24: Premier Paula Cox will today outline her economic blueprint for the year.

Ms Cox, also the Finance Minister, will have to pull off a Budget balancing act by attempting to reduce the level of public spending, but also boost the economy and help get the rising number of Bermuda’s jobless back to work.

Business figures have already unveiled their wish list for economic recovery, including a ‘fair and equitable’ duty rate for personal imports to boost the local retail sector and a continuation of payroll tax breaks for the struggling hospitality industry.

And the international business sector is looking for measures designed to streamline immigration and keeps the cost of doing business in Bermuda — already higher than some competitor jurisdictions – to a minimum.

Bermuda Sun columnist Larry Burchall, who has been highlighting the issue of Government debt for the past two years, has described today’s Budget as the “most important in any Bermudian’s memory”.

Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards predicts “an election Budget” – meaning no unpopular tax increases and little change – in the run-up to a General Election.

• Stay with the Bermuda Sun today for full reports, reaction and analysis.