FRIDAY, JANUARY 4: A cut in Ministerial pay cheques will save the taxpayer around $228,000 a year.

New OBA Premier Craig Cannonier announced that his Cabinet team would take a cut as promised pre-election as he was sworn in at Government House.

Premier Craig Cannonier said: “It goes back to the fact that if we are expecting our people to sacrifice, we should also step in and be part of that same gesture.

“Bermuda is expected to tighten its belt and this is an opportunity to lead by example.

“Our people have had to take many pay cuts so we’re joining in with the sacrifice.

“And every bit helps – where we can make the savings, that’s the prudent thing to do. If we can save a dollar, do that and we have to start somewhere.

“Our commitment is to be part of this whole process of tightening the belt and Bermuda can be assured we will be part of that process the entire way.”

Mr Cannonier added: “The commitment was very warmly received — I haven’t had any negative feedback.

“As we continue with this low-lying fruit, so to speak, which we can do.”

Mr Cannonier said that Minister of Finance Bob Richards was “working double time” as Government looked at reducing the island’s billion dollar-plus debt.

He added: “As we go on, we can get into the larger departments and ministries and see where we can make larger savings.

“But that won’t happen overnight — certainly the public doesn’t expect us to make huge cuts without looking at how it impacts their lives.”

Mr Richards, who holds the purse strings of Government, added: “It’s an example of leading by example.

“You have to do that if you have any kind of authority to do anything else. That’s basically the deal.”

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Finance confirmed the total to be saved.

She added: “It should also be noted that a resolution has to be passed in the House of Assembly before the cuts come into force.”