Overheating

UBP Senator Bob Richards, someone who really needs to be in the House of Assembly and is for my money one of our best economic and political minds (I believe Premier and/or Finance Minister material), delivers the goods today in a Royal Gazette OpEd on the perils of overheating the economy.

Money quote:

"Fortunately, the insurance cycle is not closely correlated with the overall economic cycle and the underlying tone of the offshore insurance/reinsurance market appears to be quite solid and of course this augers well for Bermuda."

"The critical economic issues facing Bermuda for 2007 are also internal. For many months I have been like a voice crying out in the wilderness on the issue of overheating of our economy. Simply put, the Bermuda Government has sat on its hands and let our economy overheat, particularly in the construction sector. This has resulted in, on the one hand, a bonanza in payroll taxes for Government coffers to finance their spending excesses, but, on the other hand, it has had a disastrous impact for the ordinary Bermudian family, the very same people the Government claims to represent."

This is territory the UBP feel confident on. The latest Premier may very well be overplaying his tired "Minister who delivers" moniker, scaring off voters with his signaling to every and any developer that they can pour concrete at will all over the island and he'll make sure planning regulations aren't an obstacle.

There are environmental as well as economic concerns at play here.

And while Bob focuses on the proposed (but not yet funded, I hear) 'avalanche of hotel development', we can't forget that Government intends to spend probably a billion dollars on a new hospital and probably 100 million on the causeway.

There is simply no way that the island can sustain (either economically or environmentally) that much simultaneous construction.

Just no way.

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