WEDNESDAY, DEC. 12: Less than a week to go before Decision Day and your job is at stake. Some more important and helpful facts.
Austerity: That’s when, year-on-year, a Government spends less money. Since 2010, the PLP Government has been running an Austerity programme. Spent $1,242m in 2010/11. $1,137m in 2011/12. Spending even less, $1,082m in this year 2012/13. Year-on-year, less money spent each year. If anybody denies that this is austerity spending, they are lying. Look at the numbers!
What does austerity spending do? The opposite of stimulus, austerity spending drags Bermuda’s economy downwards and prolongs Bermuda’s recession.
Debt and borrowing: This is what has happened with Debt and Debt Service Costs [DSC]:
• 2008/09 — Debt $482.4m and DSC $27.6m
• 2009/10 — Debt $759.4m and DSC $40.2m
• 2010/11 — Debt $1,002.0m and DSC $84.6m
• 2011/12 — Debt $1,236.7m and DSC $95.7m
• 2012/13 — Debt $1,416.1m and DSC $115.8m
In those five years, the Seventh Minister for Finance paid $363.9 million to overseas lenders as payments on Debt.
DSC is biting a bigger chunk each year. Because of this, since 2010, Government has been forced into austerity spending. This austerity spending is prolonging Bermuda’s recession.
Debt to GDP ratio: With Debt to GDP of 228%, Japan is not in recession. With Debt to GDP of 25% in 2011, Bermuda has been in recession since 2009. Bermuda’s Debt to GDP will be higher in 2012 and 2013 as Bermuda’s recession continues.
Bermudians filling jobs: 24,191 in 1980. 27,418 in 1990. 28,881 in 2000. 26,247 in 2010. In 2011 counted as 26,187. This is a non-growing workforce. This non-growing Bermudian workforce cannot provide the workers needed for economic growth. Instead, the Bermudian workforce is the foundation workforce for economic growth.
Non-Bermudians filling jobs: 5,478 in 1980. 8,154 in 1990. 9,136 in 2000. 11,850 in 2010. In 2011 counted as 11,212. In 1994 Bermuda switched from Tourism to IB and required a different kind of foreign worker. Since 1994, the foreign workforce has created growth while the Bermudian workforce was the base on which that growth occurred.
Term limit policy: The six-year Term Limit policy does not protect Bermudian jobs. If it did, those 3,026 Bermudian jobs would not have been lost. However, the six-year Term Limit policy deters foreign investors from setting up businesses in Bermuda. The Term Limit policy also discourages mature Level One and Level Two non-Bermudian high-end professional workers from coming to Bermuda to follow their careers. The private sector began shrinking in 2006, six years after the Term Limit policy was instituted.
Tourism: Just as Bermuda’s economy once depended on the 5 day a year Tourist, since 1994, Bermuda’s economy has depended on the 365 day a year high-end foreign resident/worker. In 2011, the 4,077 IB people who reside/work here 365 days a year spent about $490 million total. This was far more than the total $435 million spent by 2011’s total of 651,749 Tourists.
Bermudian unemployment (1): The 2012 Labour Force Survey reported 3,305 unemployed residents in May 2012 with this unemployment described as 8 per cent. By November 2012, unemployment was probably up to 3,900 or 9.4 per cent. With unemployment still increasing, unemployment will soon pass 10 per cent – that’s over 4,100 unemployed residents.
Bermudian unemployment (2): The last time (1939 – 1941) that such a huge percentage of Bermudians was unemployed, the Bermuda Government-of-that-day started a “stimulus programme” by commencing work on Bernard’s Park and other public projects. Back then, the Government-of-that-day was not burdened with foreign Debt. In 2012, the PLP Government has so much foreign Debt that it cannot create a Stimulus programme.
On December 17, you will grapple with these three matters:
Bermuda has changed: Which of the two parties understands that?
Bermuda is over its head in debt: Which of the two parties understands that?
Bermuda’s economic situation is largely self-inflicted: Which of the two parties understands that?
Listen to the two parties. See through the camouflage, noise, and spin. Hunt and listen for numbers and facts. Use your intellect. Do your own thinking. Trust your own judgment.
Your vote will be about your job, your neighbour’s job, and the next ten — yes ten, not five — years.