Bermuda’s massive debt, combined with a depressed economy struggling in its recovery, are causing negative financial deficits in pocket and dictating difficult choices be made as to which bills to pay and which to lay aside.


No more is the burden being felt than by those among the seniors’ bracket, with TNN being relayed the story of an elderly couple from a source close to the situation, having to choice between paying their rent and buying groceries.


The mother, who was described as an honest, upstanding member of society, who has worked diligently throughout life, as a positive member of society was said to now be struggling in having to the choice between maintaining shelter and being able to stock food to eat.


“They worked for Government and had three jobs her whole life before being forced into retirement,” began the source.”Now their whole pension goes to paying the rent, with nothing left for BELCO, nothing for groceries, nothing for chores and the other things associated with life.


“All they’re asking is for help just to make ends meet, so that they can feel comfortable and feel like a human being.


“They were relying on the seniors tea party coming up just to get a decent meal and a food hamper, which is similar to what a lot of people are going through, not knowing where their next meal is coming from. And they’ve reached out to Government and Government has not approved them (for funding).”


The bad state of the economy, low employment opportunities and a deteriorating social fabric has,for the past several years, inspired many young Bermudians to migrate overseas to England, where there are more jobs, educational and training possibilities and conducive social welfare benefit programmes.


Now the Island’s seniors are also being inclined toward leaving their homeland for foreign pastures, simply to be able to survive in their twilight years, a time many would have hoped to be able to relax and find rest in the security of having worked their entire lives.


“I know of three young persons under the age of 25 that left Bermuda this week, not to go on welfare, but because they had found jobs before they left, with accommodations,” said the source. “They were constantly being turned down for work here at home. They put their names down at Workforce Development, but they just tell them to go and look at the job board.


“Nobody’s hiring. There are no jobs out there, so they’re left with no choice but to go elsewhere.


“At the same time, I spoke with someone who flew out last week and they told me how there were a lot of seniors on the flight leaving Bermuda to live abroad, not because they wanted to, but because they couldn’t afford to live in their own country.”


The source described the situation as “sad”, when retirees have to make such life choices against their want, especially after having committed their whole lives to the community.


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