On the heels of the 2022-23 budget statement which will be presented by Premier and new Finance Minister the Honorable David Burt, JP, MP tomorrow, the Russian and Ukranian conflict has progressed into a more advanced stage and an official war has commenced in the region.
TNN’s Trevor Lindsay spoke with Opposition Leader Cole Simons, JP, MP, who is a banker by trade, about the possible ramifications of the war for Bermuda.
According to Mr. Simons, capital markets around the globe are nervous and have already gone down because of the war, which only began a couple of hours ago. This is a challenge for Bermuda because we are awaiting new capital, which is driven mainly by investor sentiment.
“ People are not leaving the market, but they are cautious about making new investments at this time [because of what is going on in Europe],” he said.
Mr. Simons believes that if supply chains become compromised because of the war, which is very possible, inflation will go even higher. It is already at 7 percent in the U.S. and 7.3 percent in the U.K.
“ If Bermudians are struggling right now because of the cost of living, we can expect even more adverse effects and it will rise even more and Bermudians would get even less value for their money as a result,” he explained.
The best way to mitigate this problem, in the Opposition Leader’s opinion, is to lower expenses and try to get
We mitigate this by lowering our expenses and trying to get lower taxation so that people can have more money in their pockets.
“ We get most of our fuel from the Ascendant Group, so our energy pipelines and delivery channels will both be compromised, so our BELCO bills will also increase,” he said.
Mr. Simons believes that the Government needs to tackle food insecurity on the island. He thinks that our grocery bills can be reduced by at least 20 percent if people keep a garden in their backyards.
“ We have value here, but you just have to look for it,” he said. “ We may not have the variety, but you can find the basics at an affordable price.”
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